Should the U.S. Spend $44 Billion on Broadband Infrastructure?



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As with all this current "bail out" money...where is it coming from?

While I would be all for "Broadband to the masses" if it was implemented properly, can we REALLY afford to pay for it? 

I just have a feeling from my interpretation of what I've read...most of this money will just end up in Comcast/Verizon/Time Warner/etc's pocket.  Forgive me for my mistrust - but with what we've seen with the current "bail outs" is there any reason to believe otherwise?  **cough cough** AIG **cough cough**



I doubt there will be a build-out to unprofitable rural areas using cable or fiber-optic. I'm certain rural broadband services will be TV whitespace broadband. Recall Google successfully lobbied the FCC to set aside this space for broadband services and the FCC agreed.  Google estimates whitespace broadband will increase revenue by 30%. Google CEO Eric Schmidt campaigned for Obama and Obama's use of the Web transformed politics. Obama wants access to cheap broadband for everyone and TV whitespace is the way to do it.



When your next phone bill arrrives look at the tax section ( there are 2) your are being doubled diped!!! 

univerisal line tax and federal subriction tax ( look it up) were but in place during the clinton adm. this was taxes accross the board that was to support and fosret internet growth just like what is listed in the couple that with the fact that several munsiplaties accross the nation ( philly Pa. the largest) wanting to install HIGH Speed WIFI with free access. they  have been sued and lost to the major telco and cable providers. ( google that also)

 So with that in mind.. they only want to spend 44 billion and they are taxing me on a sliding scale based on usage; they have collected way more that 44 billion and were has all the money gone.  





A government project like this will do nothing for the economy except make it worse for everyone. 44 billion is not even close to the amount of money that would be needed to build that type of infrastructure. Just ask verizon what they are spending to build their FIOS network. Heck, Verizon isn't even building their FIOS into ever neighbor hood. Their just building out the areas that they think will pay for the service. ISP's are already building and upgrading new technology as it is. The reason you have areas in the U.S. Right now that don't have broadband service is because the cost to build out to these remote area's is to high for the subscriptions that they wouldn't generate. If the government builds it's own network you would pay a higher rate than you pay right now for your internet because your paying for everyone in the nation to have it. Just remember that the infrastructure that your internet is on isn't free to maintain and cost money every day. Being FORCED to pay for hundreds of miles of fiber and cable to service just a couple of people is stupid. If you want the government to get involved than thats just what you'll get. Let the private companies do the good job that their already doing. Competition is what makes things better not the government. Just look at Comcast. Just this month they have started doubling everyone's internet speeds city by city at no extra cost. Do you understand why yet? It's because of competition.


Here is a little food for thought. People always say that if you don't like the way a company does something than vote with your wallet. Well if the company that is providing the service to you is the government your SOL. In the end they always get their money from you.



Preach it brother. If building out broadband networks will pay, then private companies will do it. If it won't pay, then we (the american taxpayers) should not be forced to put money into another sinkhole.


Keith E. Whisman

Now I will admit that like many other Republicans I voted for Obama. What I understand is that Obama wants an Internet Chief. An Internet Dictator. With free broadband for everyone that may come with restrictions. It means the Government can censor what we get when you get online. No more porn and that will empty about half the internet. If all porn sites were shut down the internet would be half or less it's current size.

This censorship looks an awful lot like what China wants and has. With government internet you also get big brother. Now the government can see and record everything you do on the internet. Unless the Internet is turned into a Right and rights to privacy are protected.

Also with Government provided and controlled internet we will be looking at new federal and state taxes for the things you buy on the internet. You pay a membership fee for a porn site or something like that and you'll have taxes to pay.  



This is one of the best plans i've heard coming from the Obama administration, next to rebuilding our infrastructure.

 I dont say this becuase I am into technology, but government subsidized tech is what brought Japan into its Golden Age of INformation. Our government needs to work together with private companies to spread broadband penetration and modernize our networks (using fiber optics and wireless etc,).

If you listen to the news, you'll find that Japan is rarely (never) mentioned in terrorist attacks and such. The reason people hate us around the world is becuase we are a piece of shit country with low standards but we expect other countries to treat us like god. If we really want to be respected around the world, we have to have the highest standards and the highest tech. We dont need the government to spend billions on our military, that money could be used in getting our defenses up and using military as a last resort.


sorry for my little rant there, lol



The internet is well on its way to becoming a utility anyway, we should allow as many as possible to enjoy it.


Further, this serves as a massive project that will create jobs and good will - exactly the way the nation pulled out of the original 'Great Depression'.





this wouldnt need to be done like this if the companies had invested in this a long time ago instead of being greedy trying to squeeze every last dime out of ancient infrastructures. its kind of like ethanol, we had an opportunity to look into it in the 70's and we didnt. and look where we're at now. im sure alot of people will disagree with me but oh well.



Only if, as the picture sagely suggests, half of that $44 billion goes toward deploying tacos around the country. No child should be without affordable high-quality Mexican cuisine.



Mighty BOB!

As long as Ted Stevens isn't in charge of the deployment of said Internet infrastructure, I'm for it. :P



I'm all for improving the infrastructure but what does "The United States ranks 22nd in the world in broadband adoption, with
over 40 percent of all U.S. homes still without a high speed connection"
have to do with that? I don't think those 40% of homes that lack a high speed connection is because it's not possible to get hooked up. Sure that applies to some people that live out in the sticks but the rest choose not to have internet/computer or can't afford them. For those that can't afford them - well there's more important things in life to pay for than a broadband connection. Can't eat that.



Absolutely not.  This needs to stay private enterprise (I know people like to disparage the free market system right now but it works for the US and several other countries – it’s cyclical just like everything else and will come back around).  If the Federal government gets into the data transfer biz do you honestly think that all of the other things you whine about concerning government interference with first amendment rights would vaporize with the advent of socialized Internet?  Please.  As far as creating public works programs to create jobs – this wouldn't get off the ground until the recession is behind us.  Public works programs in response to current market problems have NEVER gotten off the ground and employed people until after the economic problems have passed.  The Federal government will get its fingers into all aspects of this.  Look at what’s happened to the banks that have taken the bailout money – they answer to Uncle Sam as he required that as part of the bailout agreement.  Same thing with the auto industry.  The term Car Czar ring any bells?  This will be a Federal employee (politician) running the show.  Not a good idea.

Is it embarrassing to be last on the list for a technology that was invented here?  Sure, but it’s not the first time.  We got our backsides handed to us in the ’70 by Japanese auto makers (and by that I mean mass-produced automobiles).  I love American cars (and drive one) but the reality is that Toyota and Honda out-build US companies at almost every turn.

I, for one, become nervous when I think about a national network developed, built, maintained and MONITORED by the federal government (FBI, NSA, etc.).  No thank you.



Yeah, we should just keep shoveling money to Wall St. so the executives, who've obviously done such a fantastic job, can keep getting huge bonuses.  That stimulates the economy too, right?  Taxpayers are getting raped right now anyway.  Be nice to actually get something in return.



As a laid-off IT person, I say go for it and hopefully I can start working again.



They come out to where I live and put a fiber optic line in so I can get faster than 1mb dsl.



To the network upgrade i say hell ya i live in an area where the only internet other than dial up is 756kdown 256up for $75 a month.

But teaching these people is going to cost way too much and alot of them do not want to learn. Or they have too low of a opion of them selves and think they cannot do it so they dont try.

But we should not be giving people computers if they do not spend their own money on it they wont respect it. also who do they think they will call when it breaks. A better option would be for the government to subsidize the price of computers. But unfortunately it done wrong we could end up like france did with everyone having a computer but no real evolution in the french market for years.  May be a tax rebate could come back if you claim buying a computer would giuve many people an incentive to buy a computer.  And the added affect would be that it drives the free market to keep driving new and better technologoly. Also it will bump people from a aprox 4-6 upgrade cycle to a better 2-4 year cycle





They need to focus more upgrading our networks and less on teaching people how to use technology.  I mean i was a kid once and i found out how to work a computer!  



Amen, seriously


the Canadian $ is worth more then our own, and were 22, 22th in broadband across the GLOBE.


Is that what quifies us as a SUPER POWER?



I hope they spend more money on redeveloping the power distribution infrastructure in order to power all of our digital tools and toys reliably and cleanly.



At least we'll be spending money on something that I can use.  We can dump a Trillion dollars in Iraq, and damn near that again on Wall St.  44 billion is chump change these days.  I say go for it.  It'll create some jobs too.



We will spend billions killing people, but damn little helping people.


Acer Aspire 5610z,Vista HP, No problems with Vista... so far, but I'm learning Linux, just in case.

Acer Aspire 5315-2153, $348 Walmart Special,Mandriva Linux 2008.1 Spring Edition,VirtualBox 1.6.4



If we're going to dump billions of dollars into something, let it be technology and moving us farther into the Information Age.

For the love of all things good, though, please make it a public works project, with the exception that it's completely run by a few people who know what the hell they're doing!



Maybe we should dump more money into education. Who cares about high speed internet if you can barely type a coherent sentence.



I'm going to assume that just sounded like you were berating my coherency, since those sentences were fairly well-formed -- even more so given their informal setting. ;-)

I'm with you, though.  The education system needs a major overhaul in general.  The article did mention that the plan includes improved technology access for school-aged children, however.  Given today's business and social landscape, I think technology has to be a big part of education.

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