Sunday, March 28, 2010

Should Obama Use Billions In Scarce Tax Dollars To Subsidize Broadband In Rural And Exurban Areas?

We all know that a very high Obama/Democrat agenda item will be massive, most likely multi trillion dollar set of policies to lower the America's greenhouse gas emissions which they assure us pose a threat to our very survival.

Perhaps, they should think about the logic behind at the same time engaging in huge new programs to use tax dollars, regulations and subsidies to speed up broadband in America's rural areas--at the same time.

The real answer to rural poverty, used to be pretty clear--move to a town or city, where the cost of infrastructure is more easily supported by a larger number of people. The "right" to free roads, airports and other infrastructure is a vast hidden entitlement that actively harms those who live in urban areas, by forcing them to subsidise the very sprawl that is destroying our cities.

Face it, it ain't the Amish who are demanding things ike this.

Quest Communications a huge telecom firm for example is now asking for a 350 million dollar "stimulus" grant to speed up rural "broadband". Nice to know the visitors to many of the country's wealthiest resort communities will be getting higher speed Internet connections. They seem happy.

"There is no reason that tax payers should be forced to subsidize rural internet services. It is nice for farmers and other rural dwellers, but it is not really fair that they should pay less than the cost of service to them at the expense of the taxpayer. If they want this service than the only fair and right thing for them to do is either pay a premium and make it worthwhile for providers like Qwest to provide service in their area or to create a community co-op type of arrangement to get service by pooling resources with other rural people living nearby. the answer is not to turn to welfare to subsidize relatively well off people, and relatively rich corporations like Qwest. Besides the need is diminishing as wireless broadband becomes more widespread. This just becomes a gift to Qwest so their wireline service can more easily compete with wireless services in rural areas without really adding much benefit to the rural dwellers. "

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