The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated $7.2 billion and directed the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities across the USA to “increase jobs, spur investments in technology and infrastructure and provide long-term economic benefits”.
The result is the RUS Broadband Inititiatves Programme (BIP) and the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Programme (BTOP).
According to the government’s “Broadband USA” portal, Aircell is applying for over $65 million to “improve public safety and consumer access to in-flight Internet service in the largely unserved US airspace” via its air-to-ground broadband network. Here’s a screen grab from the site.
Well now, that’s an interesting interpretation of “unserved” community. I wonder if Row 44 will also apply (Hughes has submitted a few apps but I can’t see anything about in-flight broadband).
Thanks @broadbandtrends on Twitter for the info!