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Mapping Broadband Availability-CAF

Getting Regulation Right Blog Aspect
Dr Archana Gulati
Published Sep 07, 2013
Updated Sep 03, 2023
Detailed mapping to establish market failure before universal service/state funding is resorted to is a wise step which is economical and would also create less market distortions. Indian USOF does this for many schemes but the results are not available in the public domain. They should be.
A news item reports that, In USA, a  “[t]]he FCC has released an interactive map of the 600,000 or so homes and businesses getting broadband thanks to the second round of funding in phase I of its Connect America Fund (CAF) broadband subsidies.That will give independent telcoms information with which to challenge those funds if they believe they are going to areas already served by broadband. The FCC points out that the map could change due to those challenges.The Connect America fund [CAF] is part of the commission’s effort to transition Universal Service Fund monies from traditional phone subsidies to broadband. The FCC last month announced that over $385 million had been requested by providers in 44 states. Now it is identifying where they will provide service down to the census block level as part of an effort to insure the money is not used to overbuild existing service.Phase I money goes to incumbent telcos in the best position to get expand quickly to unversed areas.”
The mapping is a great idea, but favouring the incumbent is one I am not so much in favour of.