Despite touting the benefits of broadband in rural communities, President Donald Trump has not proposed to set aside specific federal funding to further the broadband expansion cause.
In the president's infrastructure plan released on Monday, he instead proposes that the federal government commit $200 billion to infrastructure projects over the next ten years. Half of that money would go toward initiatives where state and local governments would be required to raise at least 80% of the necessary capital. Another $50 billion would be allocated for: federal loans aimed at increasing private investment, "transformative" infrastructure projects and funding for improvements to federal office buildings.
The final $50 billion in the president's plan is set aside for rural initiatives. However, while President Trump includes broadband in this bucket of funding, broadband projects will have to compete with other rural development plans including road repair, bridge updates and much more.
Many in government have feared that any infrastructure bill out of the White House wouldn't do enough to provide financial support for expanding broadband access in rural areas, and indeed that the government's focus would be on removing regulatory barriers and incenting private industry to invest its own capital.
"What I get a little bit nervous about is when you talk about removing these barriers thinking that that magically means the [broadband network] lines will be deployed," said Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) recently at the Incompas Policy Summit. "There's got to be an investment fund."
For now, it looks like that investment fund is limited, and that broadband will have to fight for priority alongside other high-demand infrastructure projects.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results