Letter from my Congresswoman (1 Viewer)

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comfortably_numb

Dogs have owners, cats have staff
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 30, 2011
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Received the attached letter recently from US Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, (R), 4th District Missouri. She is on the warpath trying to get better broadband to rural areas of Missouri.

"Did you know that almost half of rural Missourians lack access to broadband internet? Lack of reliable broadband denies people access to top-of-the-line educational resources, important telemedicine healthcare and everyday streaming capabilities. This devastating hindrance to progress in our district is why I introduced the Expanding Rural Access to Broadband Act. This bill makes necessary changes to existing Rural Utilities Service (RUS) telecommunications programs, requiring higher speed minimum requirements while incentivizing private investment to ensure rural Americans can thrive in the digital age. Provisions from my bill were recently passed in the House version of the 2018 Farm Bill that is currently being negotiated with the Senate.

Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announces that almost $90 million has been awarded - through its Connect America Fund Phase II Reverse Auction - to expand broadband internet services to areas within Missouri's Fourth District. This FCC money will impact nearly every county in our district..."
 

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comfortably_numb

Dogs have owners, cats have staff
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 30, 2011
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Kansas City / Las Vegas
Update: we got our funding. $90 million dollars is coming to my district to help increase broadband speeds. Let's hope the carriers don't screw this up like they have in some other states, by taking the money then not doing anything with it.

update.jpg
 
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Cheddar_Head

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Feb 13, 2008
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The law needs to be rewritten so the telecommunications don't get the money upfront but instead receive reimbursement once the work is completed, after all it is not like paying a company to pave a road. The telecommunications companies will own the infrastructure once reimbursed and continue to make money off the infrastructure they were paid to install.
 

primestar31

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Mar 15, 2005
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We ALL know what happens if you pay up front for contract work. YOU are much more likely to get left holding the bag, and the person/company you just paid now has all the power on their side. You no longer have any leverage against them, short of a lawsuit. Which puts you to extra cost, and a financially losing battle right from the get-go.
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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...after all it is not like paying a company to pave a road.
Building the road is only the first step. It is what is known as a capital expenditure (CapEx). Maintaining the road is an entirely different discussion (operational expenditures -- OpEx) and one that must not be ignored.

Agencies (like the electricity coops) may get grants and other one-time funding to build (or expand) a system but once that is done, they have to fund the maintenance on their own.
 

NYDutch

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Dec 28, 2013
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The funding is for both grants and loans, so depending the qualification criteria and terms, private companies may indeed have an incentive to actually get the job done in order to get paid and not have the loans called in and grants rescinded.
 
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Cheddar_Head

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Feb 13, 2008
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Colorado Springs
Building the road is only the first step. It is what is known as a capital expenditure (CapEx). Maintaining the road is an entirely different discussion (operational expenditures -- OpEx) and one that must not be ignored.
True, the thing is the road contractor does not get paid 100% up front and then not held liable if he doesn't build the road to specifications, he also doesn't own the road and be able to charge for its use to make a profit and pay OpEx. Way too much of the money that was raised via surtax on our telecommunications bills seems to have gone to the telecommunications companies to improve rural broadband without having been used to improve said rural infrastructure.

I need to stop here before I venture into Pit territory. ;-)
 

navychop

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Jul 20, 2005
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Isn’t it common in Europe to require some warranty on roads, and needed repairs for some years must be done by the contractor at no extra charge?


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ncted

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Jul 4, 2004
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Isn’t it common in Europe to require some warranty on roads, and needed repairs for some years must be done by the contractor at no extra charge?


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NCDOT requires contractors to warranty their roadwork. I assume other states do as well. It has caused some companies to go out of business because they could not afford to fix their shoddy work, so now every screw up is a negotiation.
 

ncted

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 4, 2004
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Durham, NC
Building the road is only the first step. It is what is known as a capital expenditure (CapEx). Maintaining the road is an entirely different discussion (operational expenditures -- OpEx) and one that must not be ignored.

Agencies (like the electricity coops) may get grants and other one-time funding to build (or expand) a system but once that is done, they have to fund the maintenance on their own.

And they do, or, in the case of AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink, etc.'s copper infrastructure which is critical to public services, they don't just as soon as they decide it isn't worth it.
 

Jim S.

When someone asks you if you're a god, you say yes
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Jan 2, 2006
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If the government is going to get involved, they should go all the way and mandate fiber access for everyone. Otherwise, we're just going to get cellular, and that isn't guaranteed to reach everyone, or to not saturate if people actually try to use it as a full-time connection.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,790
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Salem, OR
Full "wired" access to the Internet simply isn't practical. This may seem heretical for those who live in urban and suburban locations but in many areas there are still situations where the population density requires several decimal places to represent. I believe that those who choose to live out in East Jesus (or live where they can't afford broadband access) must live with their situation. Broadband is not a human right nor is it a human necessity (yet).

Having the gubmint involved in providing utilities other than the most fundamental (water, sewer) has a track record that is all over the map.

Regulation at some level is an imperative for franchising to work.
 
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