The broadband industry is licking its chops over economic stimulus. There are several initiatives specifically related to broadband expansion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and others indirectly related. Broadband has largely been a commercial endeavor, but economic stimulus could change that by placing over seven-billion-dollars in the hands of the Commerce and Agriculture Departments for grants and loans to local and state government.
Public safety should benefit, as many of grant wishfuls are likely to cite plans for enhancing public safety in their applications. Several waves of funds will be awarded, according to telecom attorney Thomas Crowe.
Meantime, the FCC is to develop a national broadband plan and present it to Congress. In an unrelated, yet pertinent, initiative the FCC is looking for members for its Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperabilty Council, which deals with public safety communications issues.