StimulatingBroadband.com 04/10/09 Boston - Telecom analyst and publisher Gary Kim, over on his IP Carrier blog of April 8 reports negative sentiments about federal broadband stimulus grant and loan programs expressed by representatives of some smaller independent telcos. His post both caught our attention, and flies in the face of the current conventional wisdom about the telcos and broadband stimulus monies.
'Truth be told, we here at StimulatingBroadband.com have thus far accepted the same conventional wisdom. To date, we have believed and have written about a 'big fish / little fish' syndrome apparent in the industry. This wisdom holds that the "big telcos" like AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), and Qwest (NYSE: Q) will most probably not seek federal dollars, while the smaller operators that tend to dominate in the nation's most rural precincts, will apply for broadband stimulus grants and loans.
Kim states his observations of a workshop hosted by Occam Networks (NASDAQ: OCNW) at the MetaSwitch Forum 2009 now finishing its run Las Vegas. He says that attendees "were shaking their heads in disbelief about "strings" attached to receipt of funds under the RUS plan, in particular the nebulous language about investments in access that allow multiple providers to compete."
If it were an industry analyst with less than Kim's decades-long experience covering both the massive shifts and technical minutiae of the American telecom industry, one would need not pay attention. We remember reading Gary's insights all the way back into the 1980s, in the halcyon days (for us competitive telecom types) immediately following Divestiture.
If he is picking-up the sounds of disquiet from managers at smaller telcos, around the issues of the broadband stimulus provisions of the American Recovery and Renewal Act of 2009 (ARRA), we should all take a moment and listen as well. StimulatingBroadband.com