Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Government United States Politics

Universal Broadband Plan Calls For $44 Billion 414

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-them-download dept.
Andy King writes "The new Obama administration has pledged to deploy next-generation broadband to every community in America, but have offered few specifics. The Free Press have published a specific plan to accomplish broadband for all." I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or waiting on hold for cable tech support.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Universal Broadband Plan Calls For $44 Billion

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So far Obama is very good at promises, they don't cost a dime. Let's see how many he can pull through in real.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:14PM (#26227103)

    I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or waiting on hold for cable tech support.

    It sounds like that as long as you have something to bitch about, you'll be happy enough.

  • Comca$t already plans to raise rates by $44 billion when the $44 billion in broadband vouchers is awarded to qualifying households. Being paid by Comca$t, we say the more broadband entitlements, the better.

  • Is there some ambiguity here that I'm missing?

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by KarrdeSW (996917)

      To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

      Interstate and foreign commercial enterprise is very literally what the internet is now meant to achieve. These days, people purchase so many products and conduct so many transactions across state lines through the web that any specific area without the infrastructure to get broadband access becomes handicapped, as they are without the ability to effectively move their services online. I will admit this is not a perfect fit in a grammatical sense, BUT the internet did not exist when the constitution was w

  • Stop assuming (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can someone read the article in depth? It doesn't sound like free Internet. It sounds like a bunch of things working together to provide broadband access everywhere. Some people have dial-up in America still, don't they? Some people don't have choices. Isn't this about bringing reasonably-priced broadband to all areas?

    • That is how it sounds on paper, but the current ISP monopolies sound exactly the same on paper. In reality it means that rather than having dial up you now can get Cable/Internet by Time Warner/Comcast (or depending on how far towards 1984 Obama wants to go, the government) but it will always be crappy service for a high price and usually there won't be any choice other than one and because on paper it shows you have broadband it doesn't matter to the government or to other businesses if you are paying $100
  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:30PM (#26227223) Homepage

    I don't mind the government promoting the spread of broadband, but I hope that in the process it steers clear of content filtering and content monitoring. This is potentially one of those "deal with the devil" situations, so let's make sure it's done right. Let's make sure free-speech and privacy rights are well protected from the very beginning. Let's avoid a situation similar to that currently faced by public broadcasters who, due to the public nature of the airwaves, are forced to accept what would in any other context constitute unconstitutional restraint on speech.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)
      We'd be doing great if we can simply stick to the principles the Post Office already uses: don't open my mail without a warrant. Censorship in the mail hasn't generally been a big problem.

      But don't get me wrong, this could easily (probably?) break the wrong way when people start talking about "your tax dollars paying to deliver ."

      • by mdmkolbe (944892)

        Doesn't the post office use sniffers for things like Anthrax? Someone will always find a way to justify the searches.

        The introduction of a federal government monopoly is not a good thing and in the long run could cripple our Internet infrastructure due to the disappearance what little competition and innovation there currently is.

    • by mbius (890083)

      I don't mind the government promoting the spread of broadband, but I hope... This is potentially one of those "deal with the devil" situations, so let's make sure it's done right.

      There is no such thing as a deal with the devil, done right. It's the whole damned point of the analogy.

      Let's make sure free-speech and privacy rights are well protected from the very beginning.

      Good idea. We ought to put them in the Constitution somewhere, to ensure they're never violated.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:40PM (#26227259) Homepage Journal
    already. universal healthcare, other public services, or other services that are held by private sector in other countries work very well in europe, but SOMEHOW, goverment is always 'inefficient' in united states.

    or, rather, you people are WAY too brainwashed with the private sector propaganda and lobbying there. for example, the concept of 'lobbying corporation' is an abomination that exists mainly in united states. remember how they spent 100 million on advertisements on how network neutrality was 'sabotaging jobs' back 2 years ago in the blink of an eye over a month, in order to push laws to turn internet into cable tv ? if you dont, you should.

    i have to say this here - if, you are unable to make your government work more efficiently than european countries, its YOUR fault. its your country, government is YOUR corporation, you are the inalienable shareholder, you should f@cking stand up and demand your rights, and your rights to be protected from private interests, yourself. someone is not going to come and do it for you.

    and no, blabbering 'government is inefficient' and selling your butt to private sector WONT help, just like we saw what happened with healthcare, and credit crisis.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by david614 (10051)
      I completely agree. I have long tired of Americans whining about their own ability to exercise self-government. Sometimes we act as if a(n) alleged failure to make government "efficient" in the US is some sort of law of nature. And after the recent "market perfections" of Wall Street and the banks, they have real cohones condemning the USG as inefficient....
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Government threatens to sue private business unless they lend irresponsibly to people who won't repay their loads (See Community Reinvestment Act, Jimmy Carter's Democrat Congress). Then the government starts giving out its own irresponsible loans (Freddie/Fannie), inflates their value, sells them all over the world, and prints up $700bn from nowhere to prevent the sky from falling while cursing the tophat-wearing capitalists for their greed to cover up the cause and source of the problem. Being a good Comm
        • by BitHive (578094)

          Sorry, over 80% of these crap loans were made by private companies. Freddie and Fannie were basically railroaded into participating in this twisted market because of pressure to be profitable. It's hard to compete when all your private sector brethren are bending the rules beyond all reasonable standards of ethics.

          This canard of blaming the current crisis on poor minorities and the CRA is hilariously ignorant and borders on bigoted. I'll be charitable and assume you're just repeating what you read in the

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Actually, Fannie & Freddie were the most responsible lenders in the industry with the smallest ratio of defaulting mortgages... due to their greater oversight.

          CRA loans had nothing to do with the subprime problems. The CRA loans are actually far less likely to fail than the average.

    • Mod parent up (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This free market fundamentalism american exceptionalism shit sickens me to no end. Most of the time the people espousing it are embarassingly ignorant about basic civics and use their vitriol as a cover for the fact that they have no relevant ideas.

    • by SLi (132609)

      That's very well said. I too find it hilarious how the people in the US are so cynical about their own government.

      Of course the other extreme is naive too, trusting that the government always knows what's best for us so we don't need to question their authority.

      But really, if you think your government is so bad, how about electing a new government. You seem to call it a democracy still. And if you can't find a few thousand good people in the entire country, your country doesn't deserve to survive.

      Another fu

    • Oh and look how well the government did with the FCC. Basically, it allows for government censorship for just about everything on the air. The government doesn't want you saying something? They use the FCC to prevent you from saying it, or they load you up with excessive fines for minor things (wow, someone said "fuck", its a word, get over it). American citizens are right to be wary of any government influence, the government has screwed up more times than we can count on just about everything that deals w
    • Yeah, Europe's in such great shape that plenty of them still come here for good and timely medical care.

      I guess I'm not quite sure how you're blaming the private sector entirely for "healthcare" and "credit crisis". I'll put the blame squarely on government intervention for both. Government for pushing HMOs, mandating insurance that operates as collectivism rather than insurance, allowing lawyers to run roughshod over the medical industry, and empowering bureacrats over doctors. As for the credit crisis, I

    • ...your needs. I will be east European, um, professionals exporting, that your needs very well be meeting.

      universal healthcare,

      Yes, as you "Around the World" call.

      other pubic services,

      All already shaved.

      or other services that are held by private sector in other countries work very well in europe,

      No roughie stuffie, ok?

      but SOMEHOW, goverment is always 'inefficient' in united states.

      Our sales associates can be if needed Viagra providing. None 'ineficientiousness' no more; use only as directed.

      i have to say this here - if, you are unable to make your government work more efficiently than european countries, its YOUR fault. its your country, government is YOUR corporation, you are the inalienable shareholder, you should f@cking stand up and demand your rights, and your rights to be protected from private interests, yourself. someone is not going to come and do it for you.

      Yes, thank-you, thank-you very much, as our dear Elvis would have said. He was never for a bailout asking.

      Sorry to poke fun at a serious post, but it's the Holiday Season, and as Kinky Friedman says, "Why not?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maestro371 (762740)

      Bask in your ignorance.

      A government program that forces its benefits and, more importantly, its costs on all people, regardless of the wants and needs of each individual (social security, public education, etc.) must represent the needs of individuals with sometimes radically divergent agendas. I have not yet seen a "participation mandatory" government program (in the US or elsewhere) that is able to represent those differing needs in anything but a mediocre manner.

      In general, if private enterprise can prov

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816)

      I agree that our attitude towards public versus private is not terribly rational. But there's no brainwashing involved. It all part of our mythos. We worship individualism and do-it-yourselfism.

      Sometimes that attitude works for us — it's an important reason we went from a third-rate agricultural country to the world's leading industrial and military power in just a few decades. Sometimes it doesn't. It's served us really poorly the last quarter century, as our leaders pandered to this myth while basic

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's not just Europe.

      Even in the US, medicare is far more efficient than private insurers, with overhead less than 1/10th the private sector average (despite medicare serving an older population).

      Social Security has overhead of less than 1/000th of 1%, while no private pension system can ever come close.

      Even the overburdened VA hospitals continue to rank well above the private sector in quality of care and cost.

      The Government consistently operates with far lower overhead than their private sector counterpar

  • How about instead of spending new tax dollars he makes the telcos own up to the favors they were already handed??

  • The BPL folks and other hucksters will be all over this...maybe the recent scathing report [dailyme.com] from congress on the FCC will help keep them at bay.

  • by cbreaker (561297) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:06PM (#26227683) Journal
    Dumbasses, the whole lot of you.

    The US Government isn't going to go into the ISP business. What they WILL do is help finance and give tax incentives to actual commercial ISP's in order to get them to run lines to everywhere people live.

    Right now, it's too expensive to run high speed fiber optic lines to small towns in the mid west. With incentives, Verizon could subsidize some of this initial investment with the government and run those lines. The system will be owned and operated by Verizon, not the US government.

    I use Verizon as an example; it could be any business.

    I think this is a necessary evil to get all of our citizens connected to the Internet. I don't love the idea completely but we will be left in the dust by other competing markets because these other governments ARE doing this, and their people are benefiting with very fast Internet connections, whereas a lot of the people in the US are still on Dial-up.
    • I'd say with Verizon, you're pretty close to the truth.

      They ALREADY have a proven, workable system in FiOS. Everyone else at the table would be like "Uh, we think we can do it this way".... Or some other crap like that.

      Anywho, I would be happy with Verizon as an ISP if I had FiOS.

      --Toll_Free

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bwy (726112)

      There is a thing in this country that you many not be familiar with, I call it "choice." If you choose to live Nowhereville USA, you may not have broadband or cable TV. Therefore, if you live here and want to start the next IBM, Apple or Microsoft, you can and should pack up and move somewhere like California.

      For the uneducated, if you choose to live in FL, you may in fact get hit by a hurricane. If you choose to live on the Big Island of Hawaii, you may find a lava flow in your front yard. If you choo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bjourne (1034822)
      And that is the problem -- the US government won't go into the ISP business. When the same infrastructure investments was made in European countries, what happened was that the governments spent an enormous amount of money laying fiber. Even to rural communities where such investments just doesn't make any sense. Then all this fiber was leased to private companies for a fraction of the cost of what it took to construct it so that they could become high-speed ISP:s. I have already paid for broadband via taxe
  • I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or waiting on hold for cable tech support.

    At least you will have a CHOICE. What a concept eh?

    Right now I have to go with Cox Cable. That's it. No DSL, no other cable companies, nothing. And it still costs $40/mo for basic cablemodem at the same speed as what I used to pay 10 years ago when I was one of the first customers in my area. In the meantime I have an order of magnitude more RAM, disk, cpu, etc. for a much lower price hooked up to that cablemodem connection.

  • by isdnip (49656) on Thursday December 25, 2008 @12:18AM (#26228189)

    I've read the Free Press proposal. I'm in the business, know the economics, have done some detailed studies of the Universal Service Fund (what a joke!), and recognize a mess when I see one.

    First off, they're overly impressed by speed. They want 50/5 Mbps all over. You need that for three streams of HDTV via Internet, but not much else. They are out to hurt cable, and probably don't understand the nature of the copyright issues that rule those industries. They also ignore the issues facing rural providers, connecting them to the backbone, where current rules let the big Bells gouge small companies (some of whom pass the bill on to the Universal Service Fund). And where's the cost-benefit analysis? USF finances ridiculous boondoggles today. (They finance over $200k PER HOME to Sandwich Isles Communications.) Do we need more?

    In fact they explicitly disclaim telecom competition as opened by the Telecom Act of 1996, favoring instead a massive expenditure on a "third pipe" closed approach, as if a triopoly were all that much better than a duopoly. In other words, it's "f* you" to the ISPs.

    They have detailed plans to spend the money, but their details reflect a lack of understanding of what the actual costs and needs are. Too much here, too little there. It's like they're taking random numbers and throwing them out there, because that's how pork barrel politics works.

    Their plan is classic inside-the-beltway "I want mine" thinking. It's not a good way to improve Internet access; it's a way to make some rich telephone companies richer, leaving a big bill for us to pay later.

  • redneck attitude (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday December 25, 2008 @12:46AM (#26228293) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or waiting on hold for cable tech support.

    Yeah, because reading is for those smartasses that go to schoo-ools.

    Dumb editor. The government isn't going to "run the Internet". More likely, they're going to provide financial incentives to ISPs so that those put broadband where the pure economics wouldn't make it happen. Say, some small remote village where the ISPs in the area figure that putting those people on DSL would cost more for building up the infrastructure than they'd see in revenue over the next years. So that village has no broadband, and won't get any unless the government sweetens the deal for the ISPs.

    That kind of shit happens all the time, in all areas. Because, you know, not everyone's a redneck and loves living in a trailer park on illusions of self-sufficiency.

    This is the government's job, to step in where the lauded market economics fail and need a little pushing in the right direction.

  • Who are they going to go to, to implement this supposed system.

    The same jackasses they did the last time. The major telecoms!

    What happened the last time the major telecoms got handed a big fat wad of cash for expanding their broadband infrastructures?

    1: The money was taken.
    2: The promised broadband (hell, even improvements to their EXISTING networks) didn't happen.
    3: The public was butt-fucked out of a broadband system.

    What's going to happen this time? Take three guesses from the options below.

    1: The mone

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

Working...