Rockefeller pushes $9B broadband stimulus plan

The House of Representatives approved the $819 billion economic stimulus package Wednesday, so the Sebate debate is set to begin with a new set of broadband stimulus numbers proposed by Sen. Jay Rockfeller (D.-W.Va.). Rockefeller is proposing $9 billion for broadband, plus a series of tax incentives for companies involved in building out networks for under-served areas. It is not clear whether or not networks using such stimulus funds would be required to operate as fully open networks.

The House passed the economic stimulus plan with no Republican support at all, while the Senate process is expected to be close and involve more give and take and possible changes to the total package. With some items in the package in danger of being cut out of the Senate version, it is hard to imagine broadband getting more money than originally proposed, particularly if there is no open networks requirement.

For more:
- The Martinsburg (West Virginia) Journal has this story

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