FCC Creates $300,000,000 Entitlement For Rural Internet

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The FCC has been licking its chops when it comes to regulating the internet. They’ve tried schemes before, like net neutrality, but they’ve failed. But it seems like they may have hit on a new tactic.

Instead of regulating the internet, they’re creating an entitlement for it under the guise of spreading the internet to rural areas.

That’s step one:

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced a $300 million effort to extend high-speed Internet to up to 400,000 previously unserved homes, businesses and anchor institutions in rural America.

The Connect America Fund was created last October when the commission voted unanimously for what Chairman Julius Genachowski called a “once-in-a-generation reform” of the Universal Service Fund to help connect all Americans with high speed Internet by the close of the decade. The USF was established to guarantee telephone service to all regardless of means.

Step two, of course, once the ISP’s are hooked on subsidies from the government for an internet entitlement will be to use those funds to manipulate them into implementing the regulations they want.

There really is no need for this entitlement. The free market is quickly spreading to provide internet access to rural areas. I’m actually posting this from very rural North Dakota by way of my Verizon phone’s mobile hotspot feature with unlimited data.

The idea that we need to subsidize projects to lay hard-wire internet cable to rural areas is ridiculous. But then, this isn’t so much about internet access as internet control.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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