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Biden Bureaucracy Derails High-Speed Internet Across Country

Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2024
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by Andrew Shirley
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61 Comments
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Four years ago, then-candidate Joe Biden pledged to make affordable and reliable internet access for all Americans a priority of his administration. Now, that pledge looks to be yet another empty promise from a failed president.

In 2020, as part of the “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations,” the Biden campaign asserted that “in the 21st century, the Internet is not optional.” To that end, they pledged that a Biden administration would “increase public investment in rural broadband infrastructure and offer low-income Americans subsidies for accessing high-speed internet.”

Everything seemed to be on course when Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act into law in November 2021. A portion of that bill was the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD), which allotted $42.5 billion toward creating high-speed internet access for Americans in rural areas. Last March, the Biden Department of Commerce touted another $65 billion investment in expanding internet access.

But there’s just one problem: Despite spending more than the entire GDP of Switzerland, not one foot of new broadband cable has been laid in the United States under the BEAD program. The main reason for this appears to be endless red tape and political grudges from the Biden administration.

As The Washington Times has reported, the Biden administration’s rural broadband funding comes with a tangle of strings attached, including climate change mandates, requirements that providers prioritize “certain segments of the workforce, such as individuals with past criminal records” when building broadband networks, and preferences for hiring union workers, who are scarce in many rural areas.

Notably, virtually none of these requirements are outlined in the infrastructure law itself. All are instead stipulations unilaterally imposed by the Biden administration.

In a letter to Alan Davidson, who runs the BEAD program as head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), 11 Republican senators blasted the BEAD rules, which they said “divert resources away from bringing broadband service to rural America and are inconsistent with NTIA’s statutory authority in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act… NTIA’s failure to resolve these concerns will prolong the digital divide and put billions of scarce taxpayer dollars at risk.”

Compounding the issue further is the federal government’s effort to regulate the rates companies can charge for broadband access. The program is managed by the Department of Commerce, which wants to control the prices companies can charge users for Internet access. Rural Internet access requires extensive infrastructure for fewer customers than in urban areas. Therefore, consumer costs are typically higher as a matter of economic necessity. However, the Biden Commerce Department hopes to cap rates below profitability for providers.

As a result of this bureaucratic interference, the first broadband project is not expected to commence until late 2025, and completion of the program is not projected until 2030, nine years after the program’s enactment. While every state and territory in the country submitted proposals for the program, only nine states and the District of Columbia have received approval, leaving many rural communities in the digital dark.

The Biden administration’s utter failure on rural broadband has caught the attention of Elon Musk, who posted on X that the program “is an outrageous waste of taxpayer money and is utterly failing to serve people in need.” Among his various other endeavors, Musk is also the founder of Starlink Services, which provides satellite internet to consumers from virtually anywhere in the country with a clear view of the sky.

Brandon Carr, the senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, joined Elon Musk in voicing his frustration with the government’s glacial pace and wasteful spending, noting that in 2022 Biden’s FCC revoked “the $800 million awarded to Elon Musk’s Starlink under the Trump administration.” Carr says the original Starlink contract would have provided high-speed Internet to 642,000 rural locations and could be connected in a fraction of the time. This would also be significantly less destabilizing to local communities and the environment.

Carr has previously suggested that the Biden administration’s decision to cancel the Starlink contract while investing exponentially more in broadband was naked political bias, writing that it left Americans “waiting on the wrong side of the digital divide.” According to Wireless Estimator, “Starlink had previously committed to offering high-speed internet in rural areas for $1,377 per location in support. The Biden administration is now spending $5,125 per location.”

This is far from the first Biden-era program to become enmeshed in red tape roadblocks. As previously reported, Biden had pledged to build half a million new electric vehicle charging stations across America. Despite $7.5 billion in investment, only seven stations are up and running.

But even as the government bleeds taxpayer funds and rural areas go underserved, one entity is undoubtedly benefiting from the onerous bureaucracy—the bureaucracy itself. In 2023, 25 percent of all new jobs created in America were in the federal government.

Thus far, programs like BEAD seem to have succeeded only in bloating government bureaucracy even further. But as seems to almost always be the case, the government’s gain is the American people’s loss.

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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Max
Max
17 days ago

WHAT!!!! Another failed adventure of this administration. How could this be possible? Just think, if this administration wins a second term, what will happen? NOTHING BUT FAILURES ON EVERY FRONT. WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

debra
debra
17 days ago

So Wait, What You’re Telling Me Is, Another PROMISE NOT Kept? Unlike All of President Trumps Promises That ARE KEPT?? Got It.

Tap
Tap
17 days ago

Our government thinks Billions are readily available from tax payers! SO MUCH WASTED MONEY on stupid policies. Climate change is a hoax and perfect for laundering money to who knows who or what. This president should be tried for treason along with his entire family. And shame on them for pushing this man to run for a second term when it’s so obvious that he couldn’t run a successful hot dog stand let alone a country. How could anyone think this president has done a great job and vote for him again is beyond comprehension. I’m not even sure we will ever recover as a country with all the damage he has done. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best fellow Americans.

Moonpup
Moonpup
17 days ago

While we don’t have access to high-speed internet or EV charging stations (another thing that billions were allocated for but didn’t happen), we do have…higher prices on practically everything, a war we’re supporting in Ukraine (you remember, the country that Hunter Biden took for about $11 million but is being paid back by “the Big Guy”) and, of course, millions of illegals that we’re supporting with our tax dollars. The only way my life is any better under Bribem is that it’s four years shorter for me to put up with his crap from which this country may never recover and will be guaranteed if he’s (or another meat puppet) is elected.

Leslie
Leslie
17 days ago

My “affordable” high speed internet (which is only way I have phone service in the boonies), just doubled because CONGRESS let the Affordable Connectivity Program lapse! They’d rather give free smart phones and debit cards to illegals than give seniors on small fixed incomes affordable internet. I had to trench 1200 feet to get fiber optic internet to my house and now I can hardly afford it. Starlink is now available in my area, at $120 a month. Biden administration does NOT care about seniors, Oregon’s representatives don’t either. I’ve paid taxes all my life and now I can’t even get help affording internet. Thanks a lot.

Ray Doyle LFP, WA
Ray Doyle LFP, WA
17 days ago

of course they did not get anything done with the billions of dollars they spent. Of they woudl have given just about any real grid building company the money they woudl have built thousands of miles of internet cable by now. they likely gave the money to DEI people who pocketed it.

Its the democrat way

Jim Jackson
Jim Jackson
17 days ago

Not just rural America. Pirates here in indianapolis are stealing copper wire from our neighborhood poles.. ATT cannot provide internet because of the thievery. They don’t want the fiber optics cable because it’s not worth anything.

At a place where truth rules
At a place where truth rules
17 days ago

So, where is the$42.5 billion toward creating high-speed internet access for Americans in THIS UNITED STATES? Last March, the Biden Department of Commerce touted another $65 billion investment in expanding internet access.” A total of $107.5 BILLION.
Lousy criminals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS WILL END AND NOT AS YOU SEE. Word on the street as well.
Q.1. Where is the money, who has it, who spent it, and why are Americans (whose money was used) not getting the Internet speed? Criminal, evil, harmful, and prosecution will emerge from the citizens, not the government, for YES!!! citizens can and will bring lawsuits. Word on the street is clear about this and needed.
Q.2. What is the lame excuse now, The criminals are in charge, that will end, and the end will be the end!

Rik
Rik
17 days ago

WHAT? … Just ANOTHER LIE from JACKASS JOE BIDEN! The COMMUNIST WANNABE PRESIDENTIAL IMPOSTER who STOLE THE PRESIDENTCY last election and probably will STEAL HIS REELECTION TOO!

Glenn
Glenn
17 days ago

So what else is new. Biden touts all these programs but fails to mention the new regulations imposed that prevent the programs from implementation. Time for a change.

Wayne
Wayne
17 days ago

Gee. Biden lied again. I suggest adding this to the long list of Biden failures in this year’s campaign.

David
David
17 days ago

More government control means we are getting closer to a socialist government.

John Bass
John Bass
17 days ago

I’m not surprised in the least. It’s no different that all the charging stations promised and the billions spent on only six or eight that have been installed. If there’s no money in it for the Biden crime family then it will never get off the ground.

TRUMP 2024!

Nick
Nick
17 days ago

The scariest and most dangerous words in English language are I’m from the government and I’m here to help

John Shipway
John Shipway
17 days ago

We should take advantage of Droolin’ Joe and his incompetence and demand that Congress stop this funding attempt and perhaps redirect the funds to paying down the debt or perhaps putting the funds in some solely directed account aimed at keeping Social Security solvent.
High speed internet is a luxury that in truth we may all be better off without. However if one has a junkie like need for such then nothing is stopping anyone from saving their money and buying a setup from Musk and his Starlink system. Why the hell should the citizenry that is having trouble just buying food have to pay for anybody elses internet service?
We need to cut spending at the federal level or continue to die as a nation,

Oldclimber
Oldclimber
17 days ago

So how much of the tax money allocated for bringing the infrastructure up to date is now being used by Demorats to pay for their campaigns ? My guess would be at least a couple hundred millions.

CowboyB
CowboyB
17 days ago

I’d like to see an itemized schedule…of where the money is…or WAS!!!

Bryan Tam
Bryan Tam
17 days ago

I read the report and some of the discussions posted. As a God-loving nation, our politicians must put political differences aside and prioritize people’s needs, especially for the people in most need. Let the costs tell the story: if “Starlink had previously committed to offering high-speed internet in rural areas for $1,377 per location in support. The Biden administration is now spending $5,125 per location.” I prefer the less-cost method to get the services to people in need. Let’s join forces and fight for that. 

The David
The David
17 days ago

Pretty much every country in the world, barring the 3rd, 4th and 5th worlds, have better and cheaper internet than the USA does. Another job well done by the O’Biden administration. Not that many past presidents, both Repub and Dem have done much about it. Gotta love those lobbyists, and now, the silly woke Biden games.

Thinking
Thinking
17 days ago

Broadband funds went the same way as the Loading stations. Billions of dollars allocated and nothing was accomplished. Where is the money? Where did it go? Is it still available? They have these programs and then they put up roadblocks to divert the money to the Ukraine? To buying dem politicians or even rep politicians?. It takes a lot of money to set up plans to indict a political opponent. All the so called witnesses have to be indoctrinated to all be on the same page. Follow the script. Nothing has been accomplished under Obiden but cutting down Trump and making millions of Americans enemies. We had a thriving country under Trump. And not 15 million sex exploitation complaints in the 3 years Obiden was president. With Pedo in charge where do you think all these single young men and children went to. All sold into pedo slavery and human sex rings. Obiden knows how to exploit people. They won’t rest till they have killed Trump and his supporters. Then they will come for the sheep that are still voting for Obiden.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
17 days ago

DEI killed Broadband & EV Charging system
Thanks Dems , screw your 2035 deadline

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
17 days ago

SO, WHAT’S NEW. ???? Kyle L. P.S. Tweedle Dee is on the ball. Where is Tweddle Dum hiding. ???

John Burtis
John Burtis
17 days ago

Just one more Democrat money pit designed to waste tax money for little or nothing but insuring the rake off for socialist pals. It reminds me of the Buttigieg plan to shovel more money out the window by installing a mere, what, seven e-vehicle charging stations for, what, $47 billion or $80 trillion – the amount doesn’t matter. Obama is dealing directly with the WH staff to avoid Biden and to insure that we groan more loudly. We used take umbrage when a solid gold toilet or a golden telephone was gifted to some slob like AOC.
Democrats, like Schumer and both Clinton’s, have become our overseers when our money is being burned while noxious cheerleaders like the RINO Mittens Romney and George Soros clap and skip..

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
17 days ago

Under the “Build Back BS” funding there was also allocation for creating EV charging stations “across the country” but only SEVEN actually built in three & a half years! Why? Because few companies can meet the DEI hiring requirements to secure the contract. Wanna bet this is also “broadband for all”-s problem as well?

Veteran
Veteran
17 days ago

Biden is a baaaad Dude! His commute from the alternate universe where he resides to work, or better said lurk, is a bear. His reality is filled with figments of imagination, confabulation, and outright lies, connected only by repetitive bouts of brain flatulence. He is the strongest case yet screaming for the invocation of the 25th amendment, yet no one wants the option that would fill the void he currently displaces with more vacuum.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
17 days ago

Absolutely no surprise here. Biden has never served people but he certainly serves himself. Now he barely knows what is going on. His handlers represent a crime syndicate and they mean to own all the business is town. Should they succeed we will not be reading those articles, nor will we write what we think.

Mike
Mike
17 days ago

anytime the federal government gets involved in anything, the costs go up and the progress is slow, $42 billion for nine states and DC is a waste of money. How rural is the District of Columbia? I bet that DC has had cable since the early 70’s. It just needed to be up graded. Some company has made millions of dollars in DC selling cable. They didn’t need money but it’s dumbocratic run and the dumbocrats help themselves every time there is government money. What this country needs is an independent office of waste who reports to the American People all the waste in government.

Bruce
Bruce
17 days ago

Musk needs to shut up. Starlink costs $650 just to get the equipment in your home and another $129/ mo to use it. In what world is that “affordable”? If you stop service then you still have spent the $650. Starlink service is ok but no better than the “hotspot” that I had while on the Starlink waiting list….after paying the $650.

Elizabeth Cheever
Elizabeth Cheever
17 days ago

More bull droppings by Joe Biden and cronies!!

EMG
EMG
17 days ago

Well good, maybe some of Biden’s funds will still be unspent with a new President coming who can then repurpose some few $ to finish the wall and add technology at the border!

anna hubert
anna hubert
17 days ago

Rural broad bend would that be a basket of deplorables? Just like in the 18 hundreds Lord can’t remember his name asked i why there should be a railway in the country side It will only encourage peasants to gad around instead of staying put on the farms where they belong

Pat R
Pat R
17 days ago

The federal gov’t will (if not already) employ more people than all other private, corporate, etc., employers in the USA soon, especially if Biden fraudulently gets in WH for another 4 yrs. And don’t think the elimination of individual rights won’t go further than during covid (mandating shots for gov’t employees or lose your job). AND with their spending, we will be bankrupt by this time next year, or sooner.

Richard
Richard
17 days ago

I was told at an early age theat the purpose of government is to remove roadblocks. Why is the government trying to provide internet? Why don’t they remove the roadblock (themselves) and let the private sector provide the internet? I can’t think of any other thing they provide that I want. If they got out of the business of providing g things, our national debt would take a serious nosedive. Just saying.

Paul Manning
Paul Manning
17 days ago

Typical of this administration. Looks like another $100B or so just laying around. Money that they will probably reappropriate to some other pressing issue like farting cows.

FedUp
FedUp
17 days ago

I wonder how many of Obama’s “Shovel Ready” jobs are still waiting….

Westhus092
Westhus092
17 days ago

Any bets on whether Tapper and Bash ask Brandon about this tomorrow night during the debate?

Donald King
Donald King
17 days ago

Now you didn’t actually believe that the progressive party had any real intentions of achieving the stated objectives of this plan did you? Another, not mentioned result of any meaningful high speed broadband would be the more rapid extension of anti-progressive views by the general public. Practically all pro-progressive viewpoints are disseminated through the main stream media which is about as biased as it is possible to be. Most critical statements against the current administration can only be seen on the internet. True, there are some statements made on the internet that exceed that of normal individuals, but the general views found reflect the general public’s thinking about the state of our nation today and about those in power.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
17 days ago

To put it politely, quoting Colonel Potter, “HORSE HOCKEY.” These asses can never execute a program. If he gets reelected, I will buy more ammo and give up on the American people.

Laura Bentz
Laura Bentz
10 days ago

Free enterprise is always the best bet. Look what happened to the USSR and what’s probably going to happen to us as we go in the same direction. I gave up on waiting for cable where I live and use a satellite dish. We’re only 5 miles from a city but, since we are on 1 to 5 acre lots, we are considered rural so we get nothing. Government “efficiency” at work, I guess…

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
15 days ago

And with JB and the Rat Party, there’s always corruption in every way imaginable.
IMO

Drue
Drue
16 days ago

Yep. We had a whopping $10 credit on our internet until last month when it disappeared. Thanks, Joe. Another example of an idiot at the controls.

David Nelson
David Nelson
16 days ago

This crap has got to STOP!
The Biden Administration is destroying our great Country day by day. ????

Howard
Howard
17 days ago

Only 11 Republicans signed the letter to Alan Davidson. What happened to the others? It appears that “Old Broken Promise Biden has broken his promise,

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