Approximately 83 small, independent cable companies have applied for $1.3 billion in funding from the broadband stimulus program the American Cable Association reports. Companies including NPG Cable, Wave Broadband, Boycom Cablevision, and NewWave Communications applied for both middle and last mile broadband projects.
“ACA urges NTIA and RUS to recognize that ACA members have been reliable providers of advanced communications services in rural areas and represent the best of hope of extending broadband into the most economically and technically challenging areas in the country. We encourage the agencies to approve all of our members’ applications,” says ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka.
The level of small cable participation is somewhat surprising. Conventional wisdom suggested small cable companies would stay away from the stimulus plan. Preferential treatment for existing RUS borrowers for RUS’ BIP, as well as other provisions were seen as hurdles. Polka even said in the ACA release that “… the turnout would have been greater if the federal government had not attached funding restrictions that made it more difficult for small cable companies to apply.”
Apparently many companies were able to overlook these hurdles. Cash (or the possibility of it) can do that to you sometimes.