No surprise: Country's largest network operators not applying for stimulus money

Not surprisingly, The Washington Post is reporting the country's largest network operators are refraining from applying for any broadband stimulus money.

The reasons differ, but most likely believe that taking federal money would mean bigger probes into their business practices. They aren't happy about the net-neutrality rules either.

"We are concerned that some new mandates seem to go well beyond current laws and [Federal Communications Commission] rules, and may lead to the kind of continuing uncertainty and delay that is antithetical to the president's primary goals of economic stimulus and job creation," said Walter B. McCormick Jr., president of trade group USTelecom.

The question is, will these firms' lack of participation hinder the Obama administration's plan to bring the Internet to underserved areas?

"If you want to get broadband out, you have to do it with [those] who brought you to the dance in the first place, and in this case it is the incumbent cable and telephone carriers who have 85 percent of lines in the country," Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, told the paper. "This is not basket weaving. This is really complex and intensive technical stuff that takes a fair amount of sophistication and scale to be able to do right and to continue to upgrade."

For more:
- see The Washington Post

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