Hundt Backs Broadband Subsidies

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If former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt had it his
way, the government would subsidize the deployment of broadband networks
nationwide.

Hundt, testifying at a Senate hearing Tuesday, suggested that the government
should help to build broadband, similar to the way it's funded the construction
of canals, railroads and highways. 'You need to throw money at it,' he
added.

A number of Commerce Committee senators, especially those from rural states,
backed government subsidies to spur broadband deployment.

'The federal government does have a history of assisting industries to
preserve America's global competitiveness,' said committee chairman Sen. Fritz
Hollings (D-S.C.), citing federal support for airlines in the 1970s, automobile
manufacturers in the 1980s and semiconductor developers in the past decade.

'Investments in high-speed broadband infrastructure can pay similar
dividends,' he added.

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