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As the next President considers how to improve rural Internet access, the administration will have to decide where to focus policy. Some at NTIA – the National Telecommunications Information Administration, a part of the federal Department of Commerce – have argued for more middle mile investment. NTIA oversaw major investments in middle mile networks after the stimulus package [no-glossary]passed[/no-glossary] in 2009.
To discuss the relevance of middle mile investment against last mile investment, we brought Fletcher Kittredge back, the CEO of GWI in Maine. Fletcher has extensive experience with both middle mile and last mile investments.
We talk about whether more middle mile will actual incent last mile investment and, more importantly, how to build middle mile correctly to get the best bang for the buck. Along those lines, we talk about avoiding cherry-picking problems and one of my favorites, how to ensure that rural investment does not inadvertently promote sprawl.
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Thanks to Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms.”