prof. e.

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$6 Billion for Broadband in Obama’s Stimulus Package

Posted by prof e on January 26, 2009

BroadbandOne of the first tasks for the new administration is to propose and pass a stimulus package to kick-start the ailing economy. One small part of the package currently being proposed is about $6,000,000,000 for broadband internet service, particularly for the 7-8% of Americans living in rural and underserved areas where broadband is unavailable and dial-up connections provide only 56 kbps. The US has already fallen behind the developed world and stands at 15th in terms of number of broadband subscribers per 100 residents. According to a recent report, this is critically important because broadband creates jobs. According to the Brookings Institution, for every percentage point increase in broadband adoption, approximately 293,000 jobs are added.

Not only are we lagging behind in the global race for connectivity, our broadband connections are often much slower than what is available in other countries. According to one report, the median download speed in the U.S. is 2.35 Mbps. Compare that to Japan whose median speed is an amazing 63.60 Mbps. And while fiber optic to the home (FTTH) is one approach to increasing bandwidth, new technologies in the works for cable modems offer great promise at much lower cost. Using a technology called Docsis 3, several cable TV channels can be combined to offer Internet service approaching 1 gigabit per second. At that speed you could download a two hour Hollywood movie in well under a minute. But while entertainment media is the driving force behind broadband adoption, the stakes are high for less exciting, but more important tasks. Telemedicine,  better access to online education and telecommuting are clear benefits that stimulate the economy when high-speed connectivity is universally available.

One last related issue is the battle over network neutrality. This is the idea that digital data delivered over public and private networks should not be restricted, regulated or controlled except those controls that address legal issues such as copyright infringement and other illegal actions. It is very possible that this $6 billion infusion will come with requirements that the major telecommunications businesses that own the fiber optic networks, and ISPs, practice net neutrality.


33 Responses to “$6 Billion for Broadband in Obama’s Stimulus Package”

  1. sebersole said

    MCCNM 101 students, this is the place to post your comment in response to this blog entry. Please post your comment before 5pm on Wednesday, January 20, 2010.

  2. eric santarelli said

    Awesome idea but that kind of money should be invested in people. Upgrading to a higher speed would make many lives eaisyer but for your average user who needs to download a Hollywood movie in under a minute. It has its applications in business but they are getting along just fine with our current speeds. Put that money into a health system that people can access so people can actually afford a doctor visit and not be plunged into a cycle of debt just because they need to function.

  3. Justine Padilla said

    I think that this investment would be very beneficial to our country as well as our economy. It would make a lot of things easier as well as faster but i believe that spending 6 billion dollars on this is outrageous. There are so many other issues we need to focus on and invest in such as education and health care. Spending money on education is far more beneficial than having internet that works a lot faster. There are also people in our country who are suffering due to lack of health care. If 6 billion dollars was put into helping people get health care, we would be a lot stronger as a country.

  4. Megan Tingle said

    I think that if we need to spend 6 billion dollars on internet we need to be less worried about the speed of downloading and instead spend that money in bringing the internet to thousands of kids who currently do not have it. These children are everywhere city and country, and I am sure would be happy to be able to use the internet for educational purposes instead of just downloading hollywood movies at faster rates.

  5. Anais Escobar said

    In my opinion, I have to points of view in this article, the first one it is that as we know Internet is the most important way to comunicated and do many other things right now, and as the time pass by it will be more and more important using internet. So, be like Japan or South Korea would be really amazing, because we are closer to advance. But as all we know, America has more problems to solve like the heath care prices that are too high, with $6 billion they could help a lot of people.

  6. Bryon Mick said

    I believe that it would be greatly benificial if we were to increase our bandwith. As technologically focused as society is today users want better qaulity, higher speeds. However, 6 billion is a lot for just an increase in speed, i think that 6 billion also needs to include more public access to the internet those who do not have it.

  7. Georgia Hartsfield said

    I have mixed feelings on that particular proposal. I think that since we are behind when it comes to technology campared to other countries, that expanding it’s availability in the United States is a good thing. However, it’s the 6 billion dollars that throws me for a loop. I know that it costs money to make this propostion to work but when a country has as big of a debt as the U.S. does I think the money could be better spent.

  8. I think this is a good idea, but like anything that has to do with money, I think money can be spend more wisely. Yes, we are behind in technology, but who cares. We obviuosly get by just fine with what we have now. I know that we are in recession and it will create more jobs for people, but what happens when half of the people that work for broadband are laid off because of lack of money? Just like anyhthing in today’s society, it has it’s good points and it bad. Anyway you look at it there is always a downfall.

  9. Stefan Creighton said

    I strongly agree that not only are we lagging behind in the global race for connectivity, our broadband connections are often much slower than what is available in other country. According to a recent report, this is critically important because broadband creates jobs. Jobs are what make up our economy, but also they are what destroy it as well. There are always two sides to anything new. The country will do what they are going to do anyway so you can either supprt it or not. I still think money should be spent on other issues, rather than broadband. Like the tragady in Haiti!

  10. Angelina A-Lucero said

    It would be nice to have a faster internet service. However, I don’t think it’s absolutely neccessary to spend $6 bilion when this country has many more important issues that could use the money. Having a faster internet is the least of the United States problems.

  11. Alyse DeVan said

    This, in my opinion, would be a very good thing to do. Using only $6 billion probably won’t do as much good as it should, but with an extra 293,000 jobs added, this would definately start the economy up again. I was definately surprised to hear that Japan has 63.60 Mbps while the US has a measley 2.35 Mbps. Hopefully this will improve in the upcoming years.

  12. Jacob Alfonso said

    In my opinion, I believe that this plan could be very beneficial to our economy right now by creating 293,000 jobs but there’s and expensive $6 billion price tag. I think that our country could spend that money on other problems such as health care, retirement plans, a cure for cancer and the debt from war. The idea is good but not for that price tag.

  13. Labrittany Coleman said

    I think this idea is great but i think it should be invested in other things, like countries that need help and people.this is money were talking about and i think it should be spent in a better way. The internet today has grown tremendously and i like it because you can find anything on the internet that you need help with especially when it comes to education purposes.

  14. Mario Garcia said

    I like that this plan as a whole because it is very beneficial to America. It very important to have access to the internet in todays society. Also it will create a lot of much needed jobs. Its only 6 million and its not like America won’t invest in other projects or even help other countries… haiti.

  15. Shawna Ballman said

    I think it is very beneficial for everyone to have internet access however, there are more important things we can utilize the money for at this time.

  16. Mellus Carney said

    Im definately siding with this topic putting the 6 billion to help raise our ranks in the technology run would definately be a good idea, you also have to think about people who cant even afford internet who later will with all the jobs that would be opening due to the 6 billion dollars going into broadband.

  17. Andre Blackwell said

    Definitely! America must make an effort to compete in the World. We must advance ourselves and make strides to transition from our role as the #1 Consumer of almost everything, and position ourselves as Producers in the Global Economy. Technology is an essential part of that transition. We need to be forerunners and leaders in the Technological age, not mere consumers. In order to do this we need our general population to be well versed and acquainted with the most up to date Technology.

  18. Quaneisha said

    I think that at the moment spending that much money on internet is not a good idea. I read that japan has a much faster internet then we do but we could work on that later, when we have made an investment to help out other industries. The jons that will be provided are great, but it seems that there will be to many people in the profession. This is a very tough topic to side with, since we have so many other problems that we could fix with that money.

  19. Anna DeRose said

    6 billion dollars is a lot of money to be investing into technology, but with the proven benefits it might be a risk that should be taken. I do not think that this is a wise decision for the U.S. in its current state, the money could be split in half and used for more pressing issues in our nation while the remainder can be used to test out improving our technology. We are still capable of doing everything that the other nation’s are, but maybe a little slower. When we do not have bigger things to fix I think this should be something that could be improved on one day.

  20. Josiah Rodriguez said

    i think that this would be a good idea because the benefits are that there are going to open up a vast amount of jobs, but it would also be a see-saw effect because of the 6 million dollar hike it would have to climb. I think it would upgrade a struggling economy and like the old saying goes, you have to spend a little to receive alot

  21. John McKinnon said

    I think this is a great idea not only would it fix our ailing internet problems but also create jobs in a time where new jobs are necessary to kick start the economy. Faster internet would help in education as well as business instead of wasting time on a load screen we would be able to use that time on the next assignment or task.

  22. lacey chesser said

    I think this is a good idea and will help us catch up to the other countries. The 6 billion could be problem but i think it could help in the end with better job production also.

  23. Patrick Smith said

    I think that the idea for faster internet and connection speeds are a good idea. That kind of technology should go to the people that actually need it like the government, miltary, hospitals, and office buildings. The general public I think is not quite ready for something like that. The $6 billion that would be a better way to spend it.

  24. Lauren Dominick said

    Wow…that would be amazing if everyone could have internet at their fingertips always. Honestly, if the internet is increasing jobs then it would be great for the economy. On another note…Go Japan!

  25. Kameron Wilhite said

    The plan has many benefits including faster internet, access, and job opportunities. That being said i think that there is more important-issues we can spend the money on.

  26. Johnathen Vigil said

    I think it is an good idea because no matter how good the U.S. is we are lacking in a lot of ideas we can put to use. Faster internet would be a lot more convenient, we all know we need the jobs, but dose the U.S. really have 6 billion dollars to spend on this. We can use that money to help people here to survive in the U.S. here in Colorado we have people living in a tent or under a tarp on the side of the Fountain river in Colorado Springs. Faster internet is not a necessity right now.

  27. Amanda Starr said

    I think access to the internet is very important especially in competition with other countries. However, it is not necessary to have the fastest speed. Society is so wrapped up in speed, and it kinda makes me sick. Not everything must happen in the blink of an eye. We need to practice patience. As long as the information is available in a reasonable amount of time, there is no need to spend billions and billions to make it super fast. Like others have said, there may be a better way to spend all of that money right now.

  28. Alexis Bueno said

    This sounds like an awesome idea and has great intentions, however I think it is almost unnecessary since information is not exactly unaccessible at this point, why should we spend billions of dollars right now just to make it faster. The money could be spent on other things if we are worried about falling behind other growing countries such as education it would be a better use of the money at this point in time. The possibility later down the road is something to look into and might even become more cost effective then.

  29. Manuel Crespin said

    Like many other students, i feel the need for this stimulus plan is extremely unecessary. Six million dollars just to speed up our access to the internet? These sort of ideas are the kind that put down our beliefs and trust in our leaders to help solve Americas problems. We have too many things to worry about in this country, and high speed internet should be the last of our problems.

  30. Brianna Gassner said

    I think this is a great idea! It would increase jobs and with the way our society is growing, internet access is vital for everyone. Go Obama!

  31. Brad Dick said

    I believe that spending $6,000,000,000 on internet access for just a small percentage of Americans who don’t have broadband, but have dial-up connection, is ridicules. Having broadband access might create jobs, but how many jobs can it possibly create in these rural areas that don’t have it? I think there are better programs we can be spending our money on than making it easier to download Hollywood movies under a minute. Or quite possibly we could maybe save our money? That’s an interesting idea President Obama.

  32. Angel Smith said

    The advancement of technology in the United States is very important in society today and what the government is doing will be beneficial. As a leading nation, the United States must continue to advance in technology for this will create jobs and help overall with education and the economy.

  33. charles cruz said

    Though the United States is lagging behind other countries in digital infrastructure it’s not because we don’t have the technology. It’s that no one can justly explain why we would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide high speed internet connection to a rural community of a couple thousand or less. It would be similar to building a bridge to Hawaii just so people don’t have to take a boat or plane. The idea is nice and sincere but entirely unreasonable in cost vs reward. If possible it would be best spent to develop a wireless internet infrastructure that would not require the use of thousands of miles of fiber optic lines.

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