Fiber or fixed wireless? States differ on best bang for federal broadband bucks

Fiber is durable, reliable and fast, but also more expensive.
A new broadband tower rises into the sky on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Plainfield, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

With billions of federal infrastructure dollars on the line, state officials may soon face a dilemma when it comes to trying to connect the hardest-to-reach homes in rural America to high-speed internet: which technology to use.

The Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment program, an unprecedented $42.5 billion federal investment in broadband connectivity, gives preference to fiber broadband connections, which rely on fiber-optic cables strung from telephone pole to telephone pole or buried underground.

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