$42.5 billion wasted. Not a single home connected

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by Ed Driscoll

Americans still waiting on Biden broadband plan; rural high-speed internet stuck in Dems’ red tape.

Residents in rural America are eager to access high-speed internet under a $42.5 billion federal modernization program, but not a single home or business has been connected to new broadband networks nearly three years after President Biden signed the funding into law, and no project will break ground until sometime next year.

Lawmakers and internet companies blame the slow rollout on burdensome requirements for obtaining the funds, including climate change mandates, preferences for hiring union workers and the requirement that eligible companies prioritize the employment of “justice-impacted” people with criminal records to install broadband equipment.

The Commerce Department, which is distributing the funds under the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, is also attempting to regulate consumer rates, lawmakers say. This puts them at odds with internet providers and congressional Republicans, who say the law prohibits such regulation.

The slow pace of funding allocation and compliance will push the project start dates for modernizing rural internet access to 2025 and 2026, according to a timeline officials outlined in a House budget hearing.

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said the program’s goal of providing high-speed internet to most underserved areas will not be fully realized until 2030, nine years after its enactment.

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Okay, but to be fair, the Biden administration have prioritizing electric car recharging stations thus far, and look how many of those have been built!

Rarely has a cabinet secretary done so little with such vast resources.

On the CBS show “Face the Nation,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had to defend the Biden administration’s woeful record of building new electric vehicle charging stations that are key to unlocking its hoped-for EV nirvana.

Host Margaret Brennan asked how it could be that, with $7.5 billion allocated for this purpose two years ago, the administration has managed to build eight.

Not 8,000, or even 80. Eight.

 

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