The latest broadband stimulus awards were announced yesterday, with $310 million doled out by the Department of Agriculture for both “middle-mile” and “last-mile” projects. In the initial reports I read, it sounded like the last-mile allocations were being distributed widely among different types of broadband access technologies. The bullet points highlighted in most news stories mention new projects based on fiber-to-the-home, DSL, and WiMAX networking. However, a closer reading of the funding announcement paints a different picture.
Out of $310 million, just under $4 million has been dedicated to building out DSL networks in Alabama, and a scant $375,630 has been handed out for a WiMAX installation in Iowa. All of the other last-mile funds are being granted to projects relying on fiber-to-the-home deployments.
It’s an interesting statement on greenfield broadband in the US. If this round of funding (or Motorola’s recent ONT-shipment milestone) is any indication, fiber is a hands-down winner.