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.
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.
The way forward is to prioritize urgent needs over long term visions. In cases where a new wireline network is the only solution that will get a rural community online, of course that network needs to be all fiber and potentially symmetrical. But such cases are rare.
While we have work to do in rural and poor America, we are not at a point where we can afford to turn our backs on emerging technologies in favor of a zombie broadband plan born in the last millennium.
It behooves us to be realistic, to assess facts honestly, and to avoid rushing to solve non-existent problems while real needs remain unaddressed. The Internet works fine for those of us who have it, but it doesn’t work at all for the rest of us.