American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued April 22 the following statement expressing disappointment with the broadband deployment support cost model selected by the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau:
"ACA is disappointed in the Wireline Competition Bureau's decision to use a greenfield approach as the design for the Connect America Fund cost model. The Bureau's chosen approach will provide large telephone companies, the so-called price cap carriers, with excess support while millions of households will remain without broadband for the foreseeable future."
"Highlighting this inefficiency, all else being equal about the location, the greenfield model will provide the same level of support per location to price cap carriers, whether or not the carrier is already offering 4/1 Mbps broadband in the location. It is puzzling to see how a so-called efficient model can provide the same level of annual support over five years both to areas that require substantial infrastructure upgrades and to those that do not, especially when so many of the areas that will be supported already have this level of broadband service. Moreover, the Bureau's decision to allocate support based on a fiber-to-the-home infrastructure when it requires these carriers to provide only no better than low speed (4/1 Mbps) DSL service over the next half-decade is not efficient and will lead to further waste.
"ACA had hoped that the Bureau would have used a brownfield approach -- a more fiscally conservative model for spending the public's $9 billion over the next five years. Such an approach would have made more money available for deploying broadband, especially to the areas in smaller markets and rural areas that will not receive any support now under the program's current design. In sum, the Bureau's decision is a lost opportunity to extend broadband more extensively throughout rural America and to make the most efficient use of public subsidies."