Obama's Broadband Initiative off to Slow Start

By  |  Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

While President Obama has made much of his efforts to bring broadband in the US up to par with other countries — his Administration is spending $7.2 billion on it — it appears the initiative is not off to as fast a start as some of Obama’s other programs.

The government held a informational meeting at the Commerce Department on Tuesday which was well attended according to BusinessWeek. However, important questions — such as the government’s definition of “unserved,” the recipients of the lion’s share of the money — were not answered.

Officials with the the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) deflected those questions, saying it was still looking for guidance from industry leaders and the public. Every other question about allocation was answered in the same way, BW reports.

So what was the point of this meeting? No one seems to know. What it does seem like is a collosal waste of time if the government wasn’t ready to announce anything substatiative. For an Adminstration that’s hanging its hat on eliminating government waste, meaningless events like this could be a good place to start.

There are more public meetings scheduled. These will take place in Washington, Las Vegas, and Flagstaff, Arizona, and be open to industry leaders and other interested parties. One hopes by this time they will know what they’re doing.

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