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The Internet Communications Government Network Networking The Almighty Buck United States

Trump's Infrastructure Plan Has No Dedicated Money For Broadband (arstechnica.com) 103

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: President Trump's new 10-year plan for "rebuilding infrastructure in America" doesn't contain any funding specifically earmarked for improving Internet access. Instead, the plan sets aside a pool of funding for numerous types of infrastructure projects, and broadband is one of the eligible categories. The plan's $50 billion Rural Infrastructure Program lists broadband as one of five broad categories of eligible projects.

Eighty percent of the program's $50 billion would be "provided to the governor of each state." Governors would take the lead in deciding how the money would be spent in their states. The other 20 percent would pay for grants that could be used for any of the above project categories. Separately, broadband would be eligible for funding from a proposed $20 billion Transformative Projects Program, along with transportation, clean water, drinking water, energy, and commercial space. Trump's plan would also add rural broadband facilities to the list of eligible categories for Private Activity Bonds, which allow private projects to "benefit from the lower financing costs of tax-exempt municipal bonds." The plan would also let carriers install small cells and Wi-Fi attachments without going through the same environmental and historical preservation reviews required for large towers.

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Trump's Infrastructure Plan Has No Dedicated Money For Broadband

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Trump and the GOP will claim $50 billion has been set aside anytime anyone asks about funding for any of the myriad of things in the pool because that sounds far better than "1/10,000th of $50 billion."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @06:58PM (#56118837)

    If the plan did include federal funding for broadband, there'd be bitching about "subsidized ISPs/cable companies/telcos".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I mean it says so right in the summary.

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @07:08PM (#56118901) Homepage Journal

    I thought we already paid ISP's to build out, they just kept the money and cities/states kept quiet.

    Something along the line of the 200 billion scandal

    https://www.ntia.doc.gov/legac... [doc.gov]

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @07:12PM (#56118923) Journal
    Open ended hand outs and tax changes to big telco monopolies for networking did not get results in the past.
    Same monopolies looked after their same paper insulted wireline networks.

    How about the gov just allowing the private sector to build community broadband?
    That would be a good change after all the past gov efforts trying to help with broadband.
    Let gated communities, wealthy parts of a city, businesses work out their own networking.
    Parts of the US with a plan can work together as a community and get their private sector networking done as they need to.
    The plan is to rebuild infrastructure in America without just giving existing monopolies more cash to extended their paper insulated wireline again.
    That did not result in better connections and held innovative parts of the USA back.
    Now the gov is letting local communities build really great new networks as needed. No more NN rules to keep competition out.
    Less of the past failed funding that saw support only for a few select telco monopolies.
    Time to allow innovation and the private sector to try new networking methods and offer new services.
  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @07:38PM (#56119051)
    These are the five things included in "Infrastructure":

    Transportation: roads, bridges, public transit, rail, airports, and maritime and inland waterway ports.
    Broadband (and other high-speed data and communication conduits).
    Water and Waste: drinking water, wastewater, storm water, land revitalization, and Brownfields.
    Power and Electric: governmental generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.
    Water Resources: flood risk management, water supply, and waterways.

    I'm pretty sure Broadband is the least important of all of these. Also, Google and Verizon are already following out Fiber. It's only a matter of time before we have that.
    • Not only is it the least important, it doesn't belong in the same list.

    • Google seems to have stopped rolling out fiber, and Verizon rolled out a bunch like 10 years ago and seems to have stopped.

      As for the "least important" of all five, you're assuming from a state of none of them existing. I think my internet needs improving more than my Water Resources... because my Water Resources are already pretty good. Repeat for broadband vs. X for the entire list.

      • Perhaps because there is precious little money to be made in fiber to the home? I would wager that 95% of Internet users want fast download, and essentially zero for upload speed. Something that cable and DSL are great for doing - 100-200 Mbps down, and 5-10 Mbps up. Do that - and you've taken care of the vast majority of people, and the few who want more - well, you can get it, it's just not cheap...
        • 1) Please pay attention to context. You're responding to a comment I made about the inevitability of fiber. If you don't think it's necessary, you should have responded to the parent.

          2) It seems weird not to expect some use for that upload speed once we have it. Upload speed will only get more important, and reliable upload speed will create new industries, as it becomes more ubiquitous. Just like no one could have predicted streaming video being as big a thing when download speed was still bad and clunk

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        As for the "least important" of all five, you're assuming from a state of none of them existing.

        Absolutely not and by the way stop asserting you can read my mind:

        Transportation Rating: D [infrastruc...rtcard.org]
        Drinking Water Rating: D [infrastruc...rtcard.org]
        Energy Rating: D+ [infrastruc...rtcard.org]

        Full Infrastructure Report Card [infrastruc...rtcard.org]

        Next time do 5 minutes of research with Google.

        Resources are already pretty good. Repeat for broadband vs. X for the entire list.

        See above, the facts disagree with you.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The better your broadband the less you have to use transportation, simply the way it works. Of course the underlying reality, it's an unfunded plan, completely utterly meaningless until it is funded. Pretty much a bloody empty PR=B$ stunt. I don't get what any one sees in it, it is just unfunded marketing bullshit. Produce real plans, of what is really going to happen, with funding that has been approved and that you will do in the three years you have left. No funded projects, than you just have a PR=B$ pr

  • by dohzer ( 867770 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @07:51PM (#56119097) Homepage

    How about his plan for the par-5 on the back-nine?

    • How about his plan for the par-5 on the back-nine?

      Sources say that Stormy Daniels pegged her par-5 into Trump's back nine, if you catch my meaning. There's got to be a good reason that the negotiator-in-chief would pay her $130k to keep her mouth shut. That's way too much for straight sex.

  • Wait, no, they knew exactly where they were moving to. They moved to a place with no internet. So forget those geniuses.
    • Honestly most of them were born somewhere without decent internet and can't imagine what it would be like to have it.

  • Sounds Great (Score:4, Informative)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 @08:03PM (#56119139)

    Eighty percent of the program's $50 billion would be "provided to the governor of each state." Governors would take the lead in deciding how the money would be spent in their states. The other 20 percent would pay for grants that could be used for any of the above project categories. Separately, broadband would be eligible for funding from a proposed $20 billion Transformative Projects Program, along with transportation, clean water, drinking water, energy, and commercial space. Trump's plan would also add rural broadband facilities to the list of eligible categories for Private Activity Bonds, which allow private projects to "benefit from the lower financing costs of tax-exempt municipal bonds." The plan would also let carriers install small cells and Wi-Fi attachments without going through the same environmental and historical preservation reviews required for large towers.

    States get to decide how the bulk of the money is spent. Work with your state's government to make your voice heard. The rest of the money is available for grants for a wide range of shit.

    This all sounds great to me. What's the problem?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Orgasmatron ( 8103 )

      The problem is that the President is a Republican. Some people find that situation utterly intolerable.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is that the President is a Republican. Some people find that situation utterly intolerable.

        Personally & as a liberal, I don't mind a Republican President if he's NOT an idiot or idealogue.

        I don't have a particular objection to States spending the $$$, though there are times when it might make sense to have a Federal response to certain needs.

        If the States give the money to the cities & the cities spend it fixing bridges, potholes, water pipes & pavements (in their rich neighborhoods) ... that's infrastructure, right?

        OTOH, a coordinated response by the Federal Government to e.g. enhanc

    • If the plan succeeds, Trump will look good. That's an intolerable situation for our media. They hate his guts and wish him dead.
    • It would arguably be better if the money never left the states to begin with. No reason to pass it through the national government, giving the centralized region that much more power. (For example, for one thing, if the national government had less money, it would be harder for it to go to war).
  • No surprise really, Trump still uses an abacus and a slide rule.
  • Typical.

    Now you know why no US bank will do business with him.

  • I don't see any citation for the $50 billion figure - which seems to be implied to be PER state. The proposed bill spends $200 billion total for all infrastructure, spread out over 10 years - so, $20 Billion a year for all 50 states - or $400 million a year per state. The articles seems to imply %80 of $50 Billion per state.

  • after repealing Net Neutrality there's so much broadband investment that the gov't doesn't have to chip in. Ajit Pai told me so himself.
  • ... to Trump in a serious way.

    He can't be serious because the only lecture he ever gave was a confession [youtube.com].

    Donald Trump On Tape: I Grab Women "By The Pussy”

  • Donald Trump's grand plan for the internet is two dixie cups and some yarn.
  • Because the feds don't own the internet or the rights-of-way or the hardware or the software.

  • ...nor should it? Providing broadband service is a legitimate federal government obligation....

    Cities can provide it and many are. Counties can provide it and probably some are (haven't looked). Heck, even states can get together if they want to provide it. Why in the world would it be a Federal responsibility?

    Ferret
  • If Spectrum wants to get money for expanding broadband as they promised and legally obliged to do, they should take it out of the 10% taxes they levy for that purpose.

  • by sabbede ( 2678435 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2018 @09:11AM (#56121207)
    It sure sounds like it's trying to whip up outrage while implying political deception. As if letting the State decide how to allocate the funds is the same as not allocating any.

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