Broadband services

Reviving Muni Networks

8:00 AM -- SAN DIEGO -- OFC/NFOEC 2009 -- The U.S. government is trying to get the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus money out the door in a hurry. And one beneficiary could be municipal networks.

That's just opinion, but it's informed opinion from someone with Washington, D.C., experience. No, it's not me. It's Nick Kolovos, a partner with the law firm of Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli & Berzok LLP, who's done work with the CTIA, FCC, and NCTA, among other organizations.

As the lunch speaker at Monday's The Optical Society (OSA) Executive Forum, Kolovos gave his take on the details of the ARRA, as the U.S. economic stimulus act is formally known.

Key to his muni point was the timeframe involved: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) are tentatively slated to gather the first round of applications for funding by the end of June.

That could make muni broadband a distinct possibility, "at least for Round 1, when time is of the essence and people can't get all their things in order," he said.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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