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WiMAX Accounts for Over 25% of Last Mile Broadband Stimulus Applications

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Over 300 WiMAX applications accounted for around a quarter of the total last mile broadband stimulus applications received by the USA's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture's RUS fund, according to the WiMAX Forum. In total, WiMAX related applicants applied for USD1.6 billion of the $14.2 billion requested by the 1,130 total applicants for last mile deployments.

"WiMAX can be deployed over wide areas to serve thousands of consumers cheaper and faster than traditional wireline services," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "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 they can cover with wireline. These savings are passed along to the customer, who spends only $25-35 a month on a WiMAX connection with comparable speed to a $50-60 cable or wireline connection."

More than $4 billion has been set aside for the first round of stimulus grants, with $7.2 billion in total funds available. With bidders applying for almost $28 billion in broadband stimulus money, the need for capital to bring broadband to rural American is an expensive and necessary undertaking. About 12 percent of U.S. households have no access to broadband service, placing the U.S. at 15th in broadband penetration worldwide.

According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, for every 10% increase in broadband penetration of a rural area, the number of non-farming jobs grows by 0.2 - 0.3%.

"We applaud the administration's efforts to bridge the digital divide, and we believe that WiMAX delivers a competitive means to deliver true broadband services throughout the country," said Gerry Salemme, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy and External Affairs for Clearwire. "While our modest grant submissions won't impact Clearwire's overall national plans, we know they would have a meaningful impact to additional underserved areas, and we're pleased to back the administration's initiatives to serve these communities."

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Tags: wimax  last mile  broadband  true