The priority for Congress in the Wednesday hearing to to draw a bright line between network projects in legitimate need of federal support for construction, technical capacity development, and backhaul and those, like Loveland, that are simply vanity projects.
The need for broadband can be satisfied in a matter of months by spending money where it can do the most good: on end user inclusion programs and subsidies. The long term need for better and better broadband exists as well, but it lives on a completely different timeline.
When we begin with the requirements we quickly find that there are many ways to satisfy them. At this point it’s more prudent to continue to rely on innovation to meet needs rather than declare one and only one technology the permanent victor.
Barring the advent of some new technology that allows you and your neighbors to use the same band at the same time with absolutely no interference, this is all there is. We will have have such a technology someday, but we quite have it yet.
Coalition members are engaged in some exciting demonstrations and some real network builds, especially Rakuten and Reliance Jio. Rakuten is building a new nationwide 4G/5G network in Japan, and Reliance Jio, creator of the world’s largest mobile network, is blanketing India with 5G.
We also need to get better – a lot better – at communicating our aspirations and motives for creating new technology. 5G is an a chaotic state in many jurisdictions these days because we’ve failed to communicate the benefits and to bring the public along with us.
Contrary to popular myth, Colorado is not witnessing a taxpayer revolt against commercial broadband. A number of cities and counties has seized the authority from the state to build broadband networks through regular election ballot measures, but few have proceeded to build anything.