Reworded Broadband Plan Resold As New and Improved
In December I wrote a couple of articles detailing the telecom industry and the financial follies promulgated by the federal government and specifically the FCC. A quick update to both stories. This week a report (pdf) was issued by EDUCASE which suggested that the federal government should help bankroll part of a $100 billion endeavor to roll out faster broadband/more penetration throughout the US. The Ars writeup, like most other media outlets failed to mention that the federal government has already dumped hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and guaranteed loans into this heavily regulated industry -- all under glitzy grandstanding (the NII comes to mind). And it is unclear how the additional funds will somehow do the trick this time around. Plus, neither the EDUCASE report nor the journalists covering the story have come up with an ethical justification for how taxpayers should be hogtied into financing yet another grandiose plan from technocrats. The other update involves the auction of the 700 mhz spectrum. I previously wrote that the FCC does nothing with this money as its annual budget is completely paid for through fines and fees levied on industry participants. All of the monies procured from the auction end up in the general fund managed by the Treasury Department and are used to fund the plethora of federal programs in existence. While the auction is far from over, the required $4.7 billion milestone was reached yesterday. And the next level tops off around $5.2 billion. The state never had it any easier: money for nothing.