The American Cable Association (ACA) staked another claim to the money proposed for broadband in the stimulus package, arguing that small- and medium-size operators should be the chief recipients of federal grants and loans to close the broadband gap in rural areas of the country.
The plea came in the form of a document sent yesterday to the Federal Communications Commission. The plan dovetails with recommendations made earlier by the NCTA (story here).
In the filing, the ACA said the grant-and-loan program now under consideration should be open and transparent, following a streamlined application process for small- and medium-size cable operators or those requesting relatively minimal funding.
The ACA added that the program should also give consideration to entities that have the financial, managerial, operational and technical experience of running broadband networks in smaller markets and rural areas – in other words, no new competitors.
“Entities that offer, or have offered, broadband can leverage existing networks and resources to maximize the benefits of any broadband grant,” ACA President and CEO Matthew Polka said.