Stimulus money and broadband

Remember the Stimulus Bill that just had to be passed quickly in 2009, or unemployment would rise above 8%? $7.2 billion of the total stimulus was allocated to subsidies to provide broadband services to rural areas without broadband.

Friday’s USA Today reports on a study that was done by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association involving three projects that received this money.  Here is one of the conclusions of that study:

more than 85% of households in those project areas already ha[d] access to some form of broadband service, whether through cable broadband, DSL or fixed wireless broadband providers.

For one project in northern Minnesota, sponsored by the local Lake County government, the original plan did not involve enough customers to warrant the expenditure of stimulus dollars.

So officials expanded the project area to include two towns, Ely and Babbitt, in neighboring St. Louis County…

However, Midcontinent Communications already was providing service to those two towns.

This, in turn, led to another conclusion of the study.

[F]ederal government money is subsidizing some companies to compete against others that didn’t receive subsidies.

One of the problems was that all of this stimulus money for broadband had to be “issued”, by September 1, 2010, and yet, the government’s National Broadband Map, identifying those areas not served by broadband, was not released until three months ago.

Well, look on the bright side.

The Stimulus Bill kept unemployment way below 8%.

Oh, wait, I forgot…some 2 years later, unemployment is well over 8%.

7 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Sooooo? Oh wait, I forgot, the war in Afghanistan is still going on and US troops are still in Iraq. The unemployment rate is above 9%? and we’re still spending money like drunk sailors. What can one expect from the elected officials, Democrats AND Republicans alike?

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:


      The post is about poorly spent and politically directed stimulus funds and unfair redistribution of subsidies, hence chosing winners and losers in business. While?I agree that?I wish we could find a way out of Afghanistan, what does that have to do with the SOS’s article about waste and fraud in the Stimulus bill?

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Oh, yea. It’s about stirring the pot and trying to push ratings up. Or is there a dialogue somewhere?

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:

      You want to stir up the pot??? How about we discuss the free cell phones and service being supplied to “qualified” applicants being advertised on this radio station. More than who is paying for the phones and who is qualified, I want to know who is paying for the advertising.


      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        It makes you wonder what isn‘t an entitlement anymore in the quest for votes and power.
        Of course, everything in a socialist society is an entitlement, isn’t it?? Until the state goes into austerity, and the withdrawal symptoms set in (see Greece, Great Britain et al.).

  3. Eric
    Eric says:

    What can we expect from the “gang that can’t shoot straight?” Nothing will change in DC until this most recent group is clowns is shown the door. I’m not just talking about the Administration either, though they’re the biggest problem that our country is now experiencing. Our present economic woes are oppressive but the fact that we have no leadership is Washington is only exacerbating the problem.

  4. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    A penny saved would be a congressional oversight, but Obama sure can pull money out of his ass by the billions!? I’m actually starting to miss Bill Klinton now!

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