The second round of the broadband stimulus program awarded 40 WiMAX projects in 22 states, resulting in $504 million in grant and loan funding.
The WiMAX Forum, who naturally is unabashedly pro WiMAX, purports that “…for every dollar spent on a new network, a WiMAX operator can cover 10 to 20 times the number of homes and businesses with WiMAX service than can be covered with wireline options.” They also claim that retail WiMAX service tends to be cheaper than wireline service, averaging $25-$35 per month, compared to $50-$60 for wireline service. I wonder what the Broadband Forum thinks of that price comparison?
WiMAX (and other wireless broadband technologies) may have something to look forward to. Many believe that the 4 Mbps bogey selected for rural areas by the National Broadband Plan, was done specifically to be inclusive of wireless broadband technology. That means these technologies will presumably be looked upon favorably for future rural broadband funding through vehicles like the proposed Connect America Fund, or as some people are now calling it, the Universal Broadband Fund.
The benefits of rural broadband funding for WiMAX may go well beyond the half a billion dollars that was just recently allocated by round two of the stimulus program