Well isn’t that great, another freebie courtesy of the federal government. As if the government isn’t already taking over enough of the industries in this country, they now have their sights set on Internet access for the masses. We have seen the government subsidize industries like the green energy industry, the ethanol industry in Iowa, and plenty of other industries throughout the country. And in case you thought they were satisfied with controlling those aspects of our lives you thought wrong!
According to The Hill,
The Federal Communications Commission will finish up rules in the “not to distant future” to help subsidize Internet service for low-income Americans, according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
The FCC started work last year to update Lifeline, the program that now only offers subsidies for traditional voice-only phone service. The update has faced resistance from Republicans who point to lingering inefficiencies in the $1.7 billion program.
So what you have here is the federal government by way of the FCC attempting to regulate Internet service as they do traditional voice-only phone service. Let’s take this a few steps back and look into whether or not the government should be regulating any of these services to begin with. The original intent of the federal government was to operate within the confines of the Constitution, I know most don’t like to hear this especially the millennials of today who like to rely on the federal government for everything, but it is not within the purview of the federal government to regulate such an industry. We have become so consumed with relying on the federal government that we are now relying on them to instruct companies which are part of the free market to provide a specific service, at a specific quality, at a specific price.
The other issue here is when the federal government is instructing these companies to provide this service they are compensating those companies, and whose money are they using? You guessed it, the taxpayers money. For instance, this program that is intended to cover Internet service for low-income Americans is a plan that is projected to cost $1.7 billion. We have become trained to overlook these types of costs and think they don’t necessarily mean anything. This is thanks in large part to the Marxist style of thinking in which you overwhelm the average citizen with numbers that are far outside the realm of comprehension. Honestly, what everyday citizen can even come close to rationalizing the concept of $1.7 billion?
The article by The Hill then goes on to explain,
The first principle of Lifeline reform is allowing the program to support both fixed and mobile broadband service,” Wheeler said during a speech Wednesday about digital equity. “We will propose having minimum standards of service that Lifeline providers must deliver to receive funds.”
The FCC has not yet defined a minimum standard of service for service providers, like Comcast or Verizon, to join.
So the same government that is going to instruct private entities to provide a specific service are going to than going to institute “minimum standards” as to the type of service being provided. You can rest assured the government hasn’t fully looked into what the real cost will be of the service they are instructing the companies to provide or are they really taking into consideration what the long term ramifications are of the service down the road. That’s ok though because the government has an open ended bank account funded by the American people.
The Hill sums up their report on the government funded Internet project,
A report released Wednesday found that 91 percent of people below the poverty line have some form of Internet access. But that includes 23 percent of low-income homes that only have access on their smartphones.
Only 7 percent of those living in poverty have ever signed up for discounted home Internet service. Researchers found 40 percent of those who did not have service listed cost as a factor. Other responses included a lack of need, slow speeds, or the use of smartphones instead.
Of course at the end of the report we find out that 91% of people below the poverty line have at least some sort of Internet access albeit it may be from a smartphone. Nonetheless we have to realize that it is not the responsibility of the government to provide this service and it is not the responsibility of the citizen to fund it.