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Earthlink Completes 500 Mile Tennessee Fiber Run
With the Help of Recovery Act Stimulus Funds
by Karl Bode 08:15AM Thursday Nov 15 2012
Earthlink has spent the last few years exploring every possible solution in an effort to get around the competition firewall erected by incumbent carriers, ranging from city Wi-Fi efforts to broadband over powerline technology. None of those worked, and not that long ago Earthlink was trying to remain afloat by refocusing on dial-up. In a bit of good news for the company, it appears they've just announced the completion of a new broadband project that delivers 500 miles of fiber to under-served regions of Tennessee. The project was funded thanks to $9.4 million in federal stimulus by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and it appears that Earthlink is focusing on serving businesses and community anchor institutions, as well as 10 Gbps broadband interconnection to other carriers.

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rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Was this a loan or a grant?

Just curious. If Earthlink ever starts claiming "it's their network", this will be important. If it's a grant, we'll be able to remind them who paid for it.

On the plus side, I think it's great they are getting it done. My hope is that this was a low or no-interest loan and they have to pay it back.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Was this a loan or a grant?

I am pretty sure it was a grant. But even so, it is good to see that the money wasn't wasted. A lot of the money given out for internet access as part of ARRA appears to have been wasted.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Was this a loan or a grant?

I'd be cautious about claiming it wasn't wasted. It probably still depends on what they do with the 500 miles of fiber. If they only manage to serve 100 customers after all is said and done, that just cost tax payers $94,000/customer!

I do agree, though, that there are much worse things we could have funded such as building more libraries. IMO, the Internet is the library.
ShellMMG

join:2009-04-16
Grass Lake, MI
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

The Little Guys

If we have to use taxpayer funds to fuel broadband expansion, I'd prefer it go to smaller ISP's that are just big enough to handle a fiber project like in TN. The money won't disappear into The Big Two's accounts and there's a lot more accountability.

I hope Earthlink is able to maintain it fairly and at reasonable costs to their customers WITHOUT caps and silly "just because we can" charges. They can be good neighbors as well as providing a great service.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: The Little Guys

Agreed, but you know if they build out too much and are too successful they will be bought by one of the big 5 and then the users will have to deal with those asshats again.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

corporate welfare

The project was funded thanks to $9.4 million in federal stimulus by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and it appears that Earthlink is focusing on serving businesses and community anchor institutions, as well as 10 Gbps broadband interconnection to other carriers.
Corporate welfare. You will not get a hookup for less than $5K a month under Earthlink or an ILEC. I'm sure the local cable Co and ILEC already have fiber passing every one of those buildings.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: corporate welfare

Bummer. I wonder how much of the $9.4M actually went to employ common folks who installed the fiber? I agree it's corporate welfare but if $9.39M went to contractors who then were able to feed their families and buy other goods which in turn employed more folks, perhaps it's not all bad. But if a significant portion was wasted on BS line items that didn't help anyone who really needed help, then that's an even bigger bummer.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

meh

How about offramping to some residential customers as well?
Big carriers haven't locked down all of the southern US with anti-competitive laws just yet..