FreePress

For Immediate Release

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Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x22 or (703) 517-6273

Free Press Responds to First Public Meeting on Broadband Stimulus

WASHINGTON - Today, the three federal agencies charged with overseeing $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funds -- the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission -- held their first joint public meeting on the grants funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Free Press recently released Putting the Angels in the Details: A Roadmap for Broadband Stimulus Success, a set of specific recommendations for the public interest priorities, policies and procedures that should guide the broadband grantmaking process.

S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press and author of the report, issued the following statement:

"We are greatly encouraged by the spirit of cooperation, dedication to public input and commitment to a data-driven process. These agencies are asking the right questions -- and the public will see the biggest bang for the buck once they determine the best path for delivering a high-quality network to the largest number of areas at affordable rates.

"Huge swaths of the country -- rural and urban -- will contain a mix of unserved and underserved households and businesses. We encourage the agencies to tackle the immediate problems of unserved areas and last-mile networks, but also to focus on critical questions of underserved areas, low-income communities and middle-mile infrastructure. And to maximize the public benefit, these agencies must ensure that the broadband programs adhere to principles of affordability, speed and openness."

Read Free Press' Putting the Angels in the Details: A Roadmap for Broadband Stimulus Success: http://www.freepress.net/files/Angels_in_the_Details.pdf

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