Verizon Shares Broadband Stimulus Ideas

Verizon is weighing on the philosophy it believes the U.S. government should take when doling out $7 billion for the broadband stimulus program.

The telco giant says the program should focus on two key objectives: extending broadband Internet connections to unserved areas, and addressing demand-side factors that hamper growth of broadband subscriptions, such as the lack of a computer in many households.

In recommendations filed today with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), Verizon said 90 percent of U.S. households have access to broadband, and of the households that have computers, 80 percent of them subscribe to broadband services.

Verizon suggested three principles to guide the broadband stimulus program, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Be open to a wide range of projects to help finish what has already been started; rely on state and local expertise in identifying unserved areas; and maintain transparency and accountability.

The company also stressed the need for quick action on the part of the agencies cooperating to produce an economic stimulus, and the importance of administering the programs in a way that encourages broad participation.

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