Rule Five Government Waste Friday

Over at RedState, my colleague Brad Slager had a piece I wanted to share with y’all, and comment on – so I will.

In yet another case of President Biden making stratospheric promises and delivering results that end up in a drainage ditch, we look into the once highly-touted BEAD program, his Broadband Equity Access Deployment initiative which would bring high-speed internet access to all of the far-flung parts of the nation. 

Deriving from his monstrous trillion-dollar infrastructure spending spree signed into law in 2021, BEAD was set up to bring the wonders of the web to rural Americans otherwise struggling without access to TikTok and Temu. Now we are two and a half years out from that proposal, so where do things stand? 

Basically, it is on its knees. 

It’s on its knees, all right.  Want to know how much this fiasco has spent, and what we the taxpayers have gotten for our money?  Brad has the receipts.

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr has lashed out at the administration for this sloth seen in the program. Carr, who has also come out with statements opposing Biden’s desire to wield more control over the internet, has taken this sprawling program to task for failing broadly.

Four years, $42.45 billion, and nothing has been done. Not one person has been hooked up to high-speed internet. Not one.

Look, high-speed internet is already a thing almost everywhere.  Sure, there’s room for improvement; here in our Susitna Valley home and office, our internet is a Dedicated Server Line (DSL) which comes to us via an old-school copper telephone cable.  It’s not as fast, perhaps, as the latest fiber-optic lines, but people are thin on the ground out here, the phone lines are already in place, and here we regularly stream television and movies, not to mention all our online computing needs (both my wife and I make our livings at our computers) and that’s with the middle-of-the-road data package offered by our local phone co-op.

Brad continues:

In testimony before a congressional subcommittee in May, Alan Davidson – head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and who runs the BEAD project – tried to sound proud of the fact that actual groundbreaking on this enterprise would commence in late 2025, or into 2026. The proposal called for 56 states and territories to be allocated funding from BEAD to commence with installing the infrastructure, but so far only ten have even met approval. The main problem is the ridiculous stipulations within the 9 stages of vetting attached to the application process for the states to endure.

For openers, there is the inclusion that the federal government wants to regulate the connectivity rates, which is holding back internet providers while the Republicans point out that the law prevents this from becoming a reality. And then there are the far more restrictive issues that have been layered onto the application process. 

For a clue as to what these are we need only look at that first vowel in the BEAD acronym; that inclusion of “Equity” is always assured to deliver problems.

Because, of course, the Imperial City can’t get involved in anything without the vanadium-plated EQUITY problem always being a condition – and always wasting a lot of time and money.  Their time, our money.

This, friends, is a classic case of government taking a bunch of money to fix a problem that doesn’t need fixing, and then accomplishing nothing.  Let the markets handle these things, and everything will go much more smoothly.