Critics Call Biden’s Universal Internet Access Plan a Boondoggle

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The Biden administration has announced plans to provide everyone with high-speed Internet access. Everyone, yes. This is a terrible idea that will be turned into yet another government boondoggle. But more importantly, this idea is specifically forbidden by the Constitution. They always find a way around it, don’t you think?

Biden announced Monday he plans to allocate the $42 billion that will be used to ensure universal high-speed internet in the US and its territory by 2030. These allocations are the result of an FCC-led project, which remapped internet connectivity across the country. The FCC identified over 8.5 million homes, businesses, and other locations that lack broadband capability.

As part of the $1 trillion infrastructure funding bill for 2021, the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program will allocate at least $107 million to each state to expand broadband internet access to its residents. Texas and California will receive more money due to their relative population size. Each state must submit an initial plan by the end of this year on how it will spend the money. After that, they will receive 20% of the funds. Reuters explains that the plans will be finalized in 2025. After this, the remaining funds will be distributed.

It’s not uncommon for the federal government to try to avoid constitutional issues by granting money in blocks to several states with conditions. This is an attempt to avoid the fact that the Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from doing so. Highway funds have been used for decades to force states into conforming to Washington’s “proper behavior”. What will Washington deem “proper” behavior?

President Biden is already justifying this boondoggle.

“High-speed Internet has become a necessity, not a luxury,” said President Biden during remarks made on Monday. He added that 24 million Americans do not have high-speed Internet, and millions more are stuck with erratic or limited service.

Are they unable to use dial-up instead of broadband? Can’t they use dial-up in place of broadband? Dial-up speeds are an inconvenience but they’re not a problem. It’s not for the federal government’s role to subsidize people’s comforts. Public assistance is meant to prevent people from starving or dying of disease. It’s not intended to provide them with a modern, technologically advanced lifestyle.

The majority of the country already has high-speed Internet. Elon Musk’s Starlink can cover Alaska in its entirety, even though the service and equipment are costly. In the Susitna Valley, the local phone cooperative offers DSL service. It’s not cutting-edge, but it is perfectly adequate. It’s not clear why Washington wants to spend money to buy equipment. Why not just subsidize the existing service?

The answer? Because then there are no sweetheart deal contracts to hand out. The calls for more money have already begun:

According to some state officials, their grants will not cover all the required internet infrastructure projects. An official from Washington State expressed concern to The Washington Post that their $1.2 billion was less than half what is needed to provide fiber internet to every resident. Sally Doty is Mississippi’s director of broadband expansion. She explained that nearly $1.2 billion may not be sufficient to cover “large areas with unsettled populations,” such as the Mississippi Delta. Doty believes that the state will “take whatever we have… but we know it’s probably not enough.”

The rub is in the midst of it.

Isn’t this how it always ends? Even though the initial funds for this boondoggle have not yet been spent, calls for additional federal money have already begun. It won’t stop in Washington or Mississippi. Once again, the floodgates have been opened. This is what happened:

You can be sure that the people will vote for such things, and this is why politicians do it. It’s difficult to stand up against Santa Claus.