Re: The best thing the FCC could do to promote broadband would be to quit funding broadband
There is enough money and profit in broadband to build into rural areas. The FCC's own studies for CAF-II and the cost model show many areas can be built for relatively low amounts. There are currently hundreds of WISP's providing broadband service in rural areas, and many are starting to deploy fiber networks with their own money. Over the last 10 years I have done exactly that - built a large wireless network providing broadband where the cable and LEC's didn't want to go. By reinvesting in the network we can now afford to build fiber in much of the network. The conversation with the bank today regarding loans - "so is there anything that the government might do that would ruin the investment"? Yup - give Centurylink and Frontier even more money to build fiber networks over ours. And the banks and private investors walk away.
CAF-II is shaping up to be one of the biggest boondongles ever for the feds. In a series of decisions going back over 4 years they have decided that funding will be made available anywhere a SINGLE provider doesn't offer both voice and broadband data. Never mind that if you have broadband you have your choice of dozens of phone carriers - the FCC decided it only works if it's one company. Next the Wireline Competition Bureau decided on their own to redefine 'served' to mean that a census block (which are very small) is only served if a former or existing customer in the block has service. This means that even if 4 wireless, 2 fiber companies, and 5 cable companies have facilities attached to the house the area is still unserved and Centurylink, Frontier, Windstream, etc. get handed YOUR tax money to build to that block.
Broadband demand is very real, and there is money in delivering it. Keep buying into the big telco BS about how expensive it is and how it can only be done with subsidies and your going to get exactly what you have now - single providers, limited investment, and giant welfare babies like Centurylink.
Want to know what Centurylink did in regard to areas they dispute are already served? They paid their lawyers to file 10,500 pages of documentation challenging whether various census blocks are served. They could have built a considerable amount of infrastructure with the millions they spent on lawyers and lobbyists, but it's cheaper for them to lobby with the money and wait for the handouts.
CAF-II is nothing more than a giant handout to the same people who, for the last 15 years have promised to build broadband and haven't done it.
Go ahead - just keep giving them more money. I'm sure you will get a different result this time.