Report: Broadband stimulus funds won’t suffice
The $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funding given out by President Obama is not even close to enough to deploy truly universal broadband access, according to a new study from Insight Research.
The firm did some fancy math to get to its conclusion. According to its own analysis of January 2008 Federal Communications Commission data, the number of households either lacking Internet service altogether or using dial-up connections approaches 58 million – half of the households in the United States.
From there, Insight Research projects that an estimated 40 million households will still lack broadband access by the end of 2014. The firm then takes that figure and divides it by the actual amount of money going toward deployment on broadband to determine that the government has allocated just $164 per household.
Insight Research claims that it takes about $1,500 per household to deploy broadband, bringing the amount of money needed for universal access to $60 billion.
"Certainly the current administration recognizes the direct relationship between extending broadband access to all Americans and the future health of our economy, but the current allocation of funds is just not going to get the job done," said Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research.
Insight’s analysis also found that a “substantial portion” of the 49 percent without broadband had no computers in their homes. “There is a chicken-and-egg problem here that needs to be considered by our policy makers," Rosenberg said.