Colorado’s SB262 impact on broadband deployment unclear

The Denver Business Journal yesterday reported that the Colorado legislature is considering a bill that would regulate voice-over-Internet providers.  They would be required to put money into the rural phone service subsidy pot.

On the flip side, according to the article, the bill would also call for phasing out the rural subsidy over the next twenty years and reducing intrastate inter-carrier compensation rates.

Without rural subsidies, expanding broadband to underserved areas will be tricky.

Washington state extracts a broadband pound of flesh

The Puget Sound Business Journal yesterday reported that the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the acquisition of Qwest Communications by CenturyLink. CenturyLink agreed to invest $80 million in the state’s broadband infrastructure over the next five years.

The price of access. I guess there is some upside to the investment. If invested properly, it should help provide consumers in Washington with an incentive to adopt broadband if they know that facilities are now available.

The investment may also provide some long term relief to the state’s unemployment rate, currently at 9.1%. Workers will be needed to build, install, and maintain facilities. Not to mention the goodwill generated on the part of CenturyLink may go a long way in terms of public relations and customer retention.