FRONTIER INSTITUTE CALLS ON POLICYMAKERS TO ENSURE BROADBAND FUNDING SPENT EFFICIENTLY
Policymakers should not squander this opportunity to close Montana’s digital divide with bureaucratic inefficiency and red tape.
This week, The Frontier Institute joined groups around the country in signing a letter providing recommendations to policymakers for ensuring federal stimulus funds are spent effectively and efficiently to close the digital divide.
“Policymakers should not squander this opportunity to close Montana’s digital divide with bureaucratic inefficiency and red tape,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO. “Lawmakers and local officials should ensure that taxpayers see their money well spent to provide internet access to those most in need as quickly as possible.”
The letter provided the following recommendations to state and local policymakers when allocating federal funding for broadband deployment:
Focus Funds on Unserved Areas:
State lawmakers should ensure broadband funds flow to areas that lack broadband access, rather than providing funding for areas that already meet access standards.
Avoid Investment in Government Owned Networks:
When tried in other states, government owned networks been costly, inefficient and have done little to expand access. Furthermore, since government owned networks require ongoing taxpayer dollars to run, building networks will almost certainly lead to local taxpayers footing the bill.
Reduce Red Tape:
States should work to stretch every dollar as far as possible by removing red tape and embracing policies like “dig once,” which can reduce the cost of broadband deployment by 90 percent. Thankfully, the Montana legislature has already sent “dig once” policy to the governor’s desk.
Ensure Adequate Funding For Approvals:
One of the most common excuses for delays in the deployment of both fiber and 5G equipment from regulators is a lack of resources or staff to sift through the many applications. With rapid deployment more important than ever, regulators should use the funding provided to them to assist in quickly reviewing and approving applications.
View the full letter HERE.
Contact: Kendall Cotton, firstname.lastname@example.org or (406)239-5093