Cisco gives broadband stimulus rules a thumbs up

Says "fundamental step" for economic growth, global competitiveness for US

Cisco gave a thumbs up to the broadband stimulus funds and rules unveiled this week by the US government. The feds are releasing over $4 billion of the $7.2 billion total broadband funding to pay for the first round of broadband projects mandated by the economic stimulus package passed earlier this year, colleague Brad Reed reports.

Over $4 billion has been granted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to award grants for projects that will build out broadband infrastructure in unserved or under-served areas, to deliver broadband capabilities for public safety agencies and to stimulate broadband demand through training and education. The remaining $2.5 billion in broadband stimulus money has been allotted to the Department of Agriculture to make loans to companies building out broadband infrastructure in rural areas, Reed reports.

"Cisco is pleased that the NTIA and (Rural Utilities Service) are moving expeditiously to release the broadband funds allocated by the (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), with $4 billion in the first wave," said Jeff Campbell, Senior Director of Trade and Telecommunications Policy at Cisco. "This is a strong commitment from the Federal Government to bring quality broadband to more Americans, a fundamental step in ensuring U.S. economic growth and global competitiveness through the economics of innnovation.  Cisco looks forward to working with our customers to bring high quality broadband and the improvements it enables to education, health care, energy and many other sectors of our economy."

The government will accept applications for the first round of projects between July 14 and August 14. The second round of broadband stimulus funds are expected to be released in the fall, and the final round in the spring of 2010.

The stimulus package mandates that all funds for broadband must be doled out by the end of September next year.

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