In the Wall Street Journal: Cable, Internet Companies Stand to Gain From Broadband Funding in Infrastructure

Date: 10 Aug 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the News: Christopher Mitchell

August 3, 2021

Media Outlet: Wall Street Journal

The Senate recently approved a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, something that could have huge impacts in the realm of broadband and connectivity. The bill includes $65 billion to improve Internet access for low income, traditionally isolated communities. In addition, the bill mandates minor reforms such as requirements to disclose service levels and prices and to withhold funds from carriers with prolonged outages. The bill also distributes grants through state offices and not the Federal Communications Commission as has been done in the past for broadband funding. The purpose of this shift, according to ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative Director Christopher Mitchell, is that state offices are more knowledgeable about how best to distribute resources. The bill stops short, as he mentions, at funding public networks, which could serve as competition to the monopolies currently dominating the broadband industry.

I don’t see anything here that will change the structure of the market to create real competition. The states know a little bit better, and frankly the localities know really well where the gaps are.

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Aarushi Sen

Aarushi Sen is a rising Junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities studying Political Science, Economics, and Journalism. She is currently involved in communications and public relations work for UMN Students for Climate Justice and UMN Multicultural Political Science Student Association, and has done research in Latin American Human Rights. Aarushi is interested in the intersection between media and movement work and is passionate about public ownership within communities.

In the Wall Street Journal: Cable, Internet Companies Stand to Gain From Broadband Funding in Infrastructure