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Stimulating Big Broadband Deployment
Friday, April 24, 2009
For a number of years, EDUCAUSE has been arguing for an aggressive national policy to promote universal deployment of high-speed networks for the benefit of education, health care, and the economy in general. In January 2008, EDUCAUSE published "A Blueprint for Big Broadband" suggesting federal funding of $33 billion to build 100 Mbps last-mile connections to homes and businesses. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes many of the key themes promoted by EDUCAUSE and provides $7.2 billion for broadband deployment. These funds will now be distributed by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture over the next year and a half. So where are we now? What projects will best promote the needs of education? Who is most likely to obtain funding, and for what purposes? And is more funding necessary? In this presentation, we'll review the pending proposals and the politics surrounding big broadband, and we'll follow the money—past, present, and future—required to meet our goals.