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.

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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  • WOOF

    Good for the FCC.
    The United States ranks 28th in the world in average Internet
    connection speed and is not making significant progress in building a
    faster network,

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      And how much of that is because government subsidies are driving investment out of the market?

      This will make the internet worse, not better.

    • JustRuss

      Is that per capita? Per square mile? You realize of course, that it costs a lot less to roll something like this out border to border in Britain or France than the US. And we have lots of people who prefer to live in the boonies. 

    • Wayne

      Remove the barriers and let the free market take care of the problem.

  • WOOF

    Connections are slow and we pay more than anybody for service.
    More is better. If we want to be a player on the world stage, we
    need competitive tools.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      connections are slow? What rock do you live under?

  • $8194357

    But who’s going to be left in fly over country to use it when they turn it back to the buffalo commons?

  • Colnzgprnts

    There is a story about Timothy McVeigh that alludes to tea party people hating the government. Reading this story gives one insight into why people whether members of the Tea Party or not, hate the government!

    • Econwarrior

      Timothy McVeigh’s motives are well known, and have nothing to do with the Tea Party, despite your smear attempt.  He wanted revenge for the Clinton murders of Randy Weaver’s wife and for the slaughter of the Branch Davidians, who were bothering no one in the middle of nowhere.

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