GAO Reports Government Funded Broadband A Boon For US Small Businesses

Broadband Internet Costs

Broadband Boon For Small Business

According to a report released recently by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), broadband projects that are government funded are resulting in low prices and increased speeds for U.S. small businesses. This is a welcome result as the Congress has been waging war on the disbursement of such funds. This means that this kind of funding has far reaching positive effects and is a good initiative.

This conclusion has been achieved based on evidence that federal broadband programs and Municipal broadband networks funded by the U.S Federal Communications Commission, the Rural Utilities Service and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration cost less and are faster than other services. The report results from research done by GAO at the behest of a few Democrats. They want to prove certain Republican critics that have been questioning the need for broadband programs in ARRA wrong.

Marked Difference In Speeds And Costs Of Broadband

The report was a result of the study of 14 communities that provide government funded broadband projects whose speeds and costs were compared to those of 14 communities that have not received government funding to set up Internet programs. The results showed that 6 of the 14 communities in state funded regions showed download speeds of 51 Mbps while only 3 of the 14 communities with no access to state funding could manage to get the same download speeds.

Among the 14 communities not funded by the government, only 9 could attain at least 26 Mbps while the government funded initiative ensured that 12 of the 14 communities it funded could get the same download speeds. The cost of services was also better in areas with government funded services as compared to those areas not receiving government assistance.

Controversy Over Government Funded Internet Services

This report comes at a time when government funded Internet services are a source of great controversy. One of the bones of contention is that such government funded initiatives pose a conflict of interest with private sector companies that are attempting to venture into providing broadband networks to the public. This is because the government projects use money from the tax kitty and are also granted special privileges such as rights-of-way treatments, while private companies have to struggle to get funding with no special privileges available to them even as they do so.


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