FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2010
Kirsten Voinis, (512) 922-7141, or firstname.lastname@example.org
TCA STATEMENT ON TEXAS BROADBAND MAPS
Map underscores national broadband plan “ill conceived”
AUSTIN – The Texas Cable Association (TCA) issued the following statement today in connection with the release by Connected Nation and the Texas Department of Agriculture of maps that show broadband connectivity in Texas.
The mapping is part of the $7.2 billion national broadband stimulus plan being administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications Information Administration and funded through the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The following statement can be attributed to Todd Baxter, Vice President, Government Affairs and General Counsel, of the Texas Cable Association.
“As the largest provider of broadband services in Texas and the United States, the cable industry is well-aware of the tremendous economic and social advantages of broadband connectivity.
“But the Texas Cable Association believes the Texas broadband availability map released Wednesday underscores that the broadband stimulus program has been ill conceived and poorly executed by the federal government.
“The federal government put the cart before the horse. It should have mapped broadband availability before granting billions of dollars in funding. Without the data, how can the federal government ensure that taxpayer money is spent wisely, where it is needed?
“The map shows that less than 1 percent of all Texans cannot access some form of broadband, whether, wired, wireless or mobile. Yet – without this information – the federal government awarded more than $200 million in grants and loans to projects in Texas. Some of these projects propose to duplicate service in an area already served by multiple broadband providers.
“In addition, the federal government set a deadline for second-round funding applications that forced the Texas Department of Agriculture to again make recommendations without the benefit of the mapping data.
“As the federal government considers these new applications, the Texas Cable Association urges it to make its decisions based on the new Texas broadband availability map.
“Taxpayer dollars – in the form of government grants – should not be used to duplicate services or to provide free capital that allows grant winners to gain market advantage over private companies that have invested millions of dollars of their own money to make broadband available.”
TCA (www.txcable.com) is the primary trade organization for cable operators in Texas.