The gaming of the broadband stimulus is going on in full force.
Consider Rachelle Chong’s testimony from last Thursday’s hearing on the ARRA deployment.
Chong: In 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had the foresight to form a blue
ribbon Broadband Task Force, on which I served. The Task Force performed a
broadband mapping exercise and brought recommendations to the Governor for state
action. Out of these efforts came the CPUC’s California Advanced Services Fund
(CASF). The CASF program is one of the few broadband infrastructure grant programs
in the nation.
Cook’s Edge: God preserve from one like this. Follow the logic.
Chong: The CPUC established a “current generation” speed benchmark of 3 Mbps
download and 1 Mbps upload to CASF subscribers. This speed was not a minimum,
however, as the CPUC believed that any broadband speed is better than no service at all; thus applications with any speed were accepted.
Cook’s Edge: so you can apply for CASF subsidy money for current generation speed of 3 down and 1 up, but applications at ANY SPEED are welcome. Gee what do they really want? Better than mediocre DSL? NO.
Chong: Our formula awarded more points for faster service at a diminishing level in order
to favor applications that would provide “current generation” speeds over those
applications that sought “next generation” speeds.
Cook’s Edge: Wow. Copper based obsolete speeds are to be preferred over faster technologies.
Maybe it was because Chong’s biased so called ‘testimony” is underwritten by $60,000.000 from ATT and Verizon?
Chong: The CPUC also set up the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a non
profit organization intended to bridge the Digital Divide with $60 million in seed capital
donated by AT&T and Verizon during merger activities in 2005.
Cook’s Edge: And dear me - Rachelle is popular; She warns avid readers of her blog:
A small warning: I do feel I should warn the many professionals who earn their living by lobbying me to please refrain from ex parte contacts on Twitter and on my blog (via email contacts). I thank you kindly for this!