too much money is going to loans and not enough to grants.

Where does it say it supports that?

If people want to see the government do positive things then they have to be part of the effort

That I agree with. A small StartUp in MD, got the state government to back their inititive with a million in funds for an Eastern Shore project (if their own financing did not come through) with surplus unspend funds from the year's budget. I believe the biggest reason was because they got involved and were the ones that showed up at the tech committe meetings for two years. Its a gamble, but it can work out for those that put in the time and effort.

I believe that any governemnet program is a plus, because it increases awareness. One program/bill does not prevent additional more helpful ones to be added also, as we improve awareness. The bill is a winner, even if its the only thing it successfully provides is the renewal of the Rural loan program. Even if I don't personally have areas that qualify, and alot of that money goes to Telcos.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband

----- Original Message ----- From: "John Scrivner" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 8:52 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] [Fwd: Durbin introduces bill to encourage high speedinternet access in rural areas]

Replies below:

Marlon K. Schafer (509) 982-2181 wrote:

I'm not nearly as impressed with this as you are John.

I never described this with the word impressed. I am never impressed that easily! :-)

Money to study the issue AND a task force? To study an issue that the senator has already laid out? That the fcc's broadband task force AND spectrum policy force have studied to death? bull.....

I think part of this is to help the Connect SI initiative in Durbin's district of which I am a supporting member. It is a group dedicated to analyzing the availability of broadband, developing plans to build more broadband availability, build a common peering facility in the region and ways to use it to positively impact the economy in Southern Illinois. Sadly the WISPs walked out before anyone even had a chance to see what was on the table. This is a good deal for us if people just try. That is too much to ask many WISPs though it seems. I am the only WISP in the group. I am also the only small company who would donate time and money to the effort. If people want to see the government do positive things then they have to be part of the effort. Telling the government to buzz off does not work.

It's an election year scam.

Nice of you to sum up the hundreds of hours I have committed to state level broadband initiatives as an election year scam. If this goes the way I want then my service area will be color coded by signal availability down to the quarter-section level on the plat book and I will have access to every state and federal program for broadband available. I do not lobby for programs to be created but I do tell the politicians what I need to bring broadband to rural areas when they ask e and a good part of what Durbin is stating has to do with things me and others have asked him to do to help.

Naturally, the devil is always in the details. I'm REALLY against the study crap, it's totally redundant. But the grants and auction reform may be nice. Have to see what they really put together.

In case you do not remember t has been me for a long time saying that too much money is going to loans and not enough to grants. This is being addressed here unless he drops the ball.

I had such high hopes for USF reform, but that's not only not gotten better, it's gonna be worse for us. And it looks like the TV band issue is either dead of wrapped up in junk that'll make it worthless too.

What is your source of information on the TV bands? I have not received a single negative message in regard to the TV reform issues. If you want some USF funds then signup and get a SPIN number. Ask your local school to help you. They can set you up in about an hour. You can collect some USF now.

It always seems to go back to the government supporting the people that live off of it first and those of us that feed it last.
Getting cynical in my old age.
(509) 982-2181                                   Equipment sales
(408) 907-6910 (Vonage)                    Consulting services
42846865 (icq)                                    And I run my own wisp! (net meeting)

----- Original Message ----- From: "John Scrivner" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <>; <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; "Frannie Wellings" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 8:50 PM
Subject: [WISPA] [Fwd: Durbin introduces bill to encourage high speed internet access in rural areas]

This is the US Senator in my district in Illinois. It looks like he has
been reading my emails maybe. :-) At least he is getting parts of what I
have been saying.


Friday, August 4, 2006

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says a national policy
is needed to accelerate the deployment of broadband internet service to
rural areas so that every American can have high-speed internet access
no matter where they live. Today, Durbin introduced legislation, the
Broadband for Rural America Act of 2006, to encourage the rapid
deployment of high-quality, affordable broadband internet service,
especially in rural areas.

“Broadband is an essential component of our lives, at work and at home.
It has become an essential service like water, gas and electricity. Our
homes and businesses need affordable access to high speed internet
connections, in the same way our homes and businesses need traditional
utility services,” said Durbin. “Yet, for too many people living in
small communities today, broadband access is still not a reality. When I
travel in downstate Illinois, people tell me that they cannot wait to
have broadband service, but that there is no service available to them
right now. My bill will change that.”

Two recent reports -- one issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce and
the other by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – found that rural and
farm households have access to broadband internet at approximately half
the level of all U.S. households nationwide. Another respected research
organization, the Pew Internet and American Life Project, found similar
results. In its 2006 report, Pew found that only 18% of rural adults
reported a home broadband connection, compared to 31% of urban adults.
All of these studies point to a consistent conclusion: Americans living
in urban areas are almost twice as likely to have home broadband access
as do their rural counterparts.

Durbin said broadband is critical to community and economic development,
as it encourages investment, creates jobs, improves productivity,
fosters innovation, and increases consumer benefits in every corner of
our nation. A recent study found that adoption of current generation
broadband would increase the gross domestic product by $179.7 billion,
while adding approximately 61,000 jobs per year over the two decades.
The study also projected 1.2 million jobs could be created if next
generation broadband technology were rapidly deployed.

“We need to close the digital divide, ensuring that rural Americans are
not left behind in the 21st Century’s digital economy,” Durbin noted.
“Whether it is through telephone wire, cable, fiber, satellite, wireless
or any other medium, we need every existing and future broadband service
provider to step up to the national challenge.”

Durbin said his bill includes four major provisions. Each is designed to
focus on identifying obstacles that hinder broadband deployment in rural
America today, and to find innovative solutions to address those concerns.

Creates Broadband Trust Fund: creates a new federal program specifically
targeted at assisting individuals, businesses and co-ops working at the
earliest stages to bring broadband to their communities. Eligible
entities include nonprofits, academic institutions, local governments
and commercial companies that work to identify broadband access needs in
unserved areas of the country. Projects to be funded through this new
program will include feasibility studies, mapping, economic analysis,
and other activities done to determine the reasons for the current lack
of service, and the scale, scope, and type of broadband services most
suitable for the particular unserved area.

Reforms USDA Rural Broadband Program: the current USDA broadband loan
program provides below-market rate loans and loan guarantees for the
construction and improvement of broadband facilities and equipment in
rural areas. This program expires in 2007. Durbin’s bill does three
things with regard to the broadband loan program -- extends the life of
the program for another five years until 2012; refocuses the program
solely on rural areas where it is most needed; and establishes a grant
program to be administered by the same USDA office that currently runs
the rural broadband loan program.

Wireless Broadband Spectrum: requires the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) to make new spectrum available for wireless broadband
services in rural areas as soon as practicable. The bill also requires
the FCC to evaluate its spectrum auction plans and to divide some of the
frequency allocations into smaller area licenses so that regional and
rural wireless companies can compete in the bidding process. Making
additional spectrum available holds tremendous potential for wireless
broadband to be deployed in rural areas, especially in large geographic
regions where it would be cost prohibitive to build out wires and cable.

Creates Broadband Task Force: establishes a task force consisting of
experts in federal, state, and local governments, trade associations,
public interest organizations, academic institutions, and other areas to
study best practices for rapid deployment of broadband services in
states, particularly those with large unserved rural areas. The bill
requires the task force, within 6 months, to provide to Congress and to
each governor a report detailing a comprehensive list of specific
measures adopted by state or local governments that helped deploy
broadband services in areas that lacked such services.

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and
Transportation Committee.


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