Trump FCC Opens Door to More Expensive Internet for Rural America

Among other damage done to the Republic by our President last week, his new Republican Federal Communications Commission chief helped approve a plan to deregulate broadband in a way that will make Internet access more expensive for schools, libraries, hospitals, and small businesses:

…the FCC voted today to approve a controversial plan to deregulate the $45 billion market for business-to-business broadband, also known as Business Data Services (BDS), by eliminating price caps that make internet access more affordable for thousands of small businesses, schools, libraries and hospitals. The price caps, which have been in place for years, are designed to protect small businesses and other community institutions from predatory behavior by monopoly broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon.

…Public interest advocates say the removal of the BDS price caps will deliver a massive financial windfall to broadband giants like AT&T and Verizon, while driving up costs for consumers. That’s because every time you use an ATM or a credit card at the gas pump or grocery store, the transaction takes place over a BDS network. Higher costs for businesses inevitably lead to higher prices for consumers [Sam Gustin, “Trump’s FCC Votes to Allow Broadband Rate Hikes for Schools and Libraries,” Vice: Motherboard, 2017.04.20].

The lone Democrat on the FCC voted against this favor to the big telecoms, in part because it will have a particularly negative effect on rural America:

Mignon Clyburn, FCC
Mignon Clyburn, FCC

“Instead of looking out for those millions of little guys, the commission has once again chosen to side with the interests of a handful of multibillion-dollar providers,” Clyburn said in her dissenting statement. “What today’s order does is open the door to immediate price hikes for small business data services. Especially hard-hit would be those in rural areas: Cash-strapped hospitals, schools, libraries and police departments will pay even more for vital connectivity, and soon we will see pressure on our rural health care funding, resulting in less bandwidth” [Donovan Harrell, “FCC Changes to Data Services Could Raise Costs for Rural Areas, Commissioner Argues,” McClatchy, 2017.04.20].

How hard is it to figure out that Donald Trump and his Republicans don’t care about anyone but big business?

Tangentially Related: Also in the “Trump doesn’t give a darn” file, Trump is willing to crash the government just to force us to pay for a wall that he said we wouldn’t have to pay for.

16 Responses to Trump FCC Opens Door to More Expensive Internet for Rural America

  1. owen reitzel

    and this is one of the reasons our why our congressional delegation won’t hold town hall meetings. Pretty hard to explain their support for this.

  2. I find it interesting to watch all the Trumpsters out there twisting themselves in knots trying to find ways to blame Democrats for Republican actions to make the rich richer at everybody else’s expense. Republicans won’t be happy until all wealth has been transferred to the 1%.

  3. bearcreekbat

    Owen, it isn’t that hard to figure out the reasons for SD’s congressional support – campaign contributions explain alot.

  4. owen reitzel

    I agree with that Bear. bought and paid for.
    sad part is they show up at places with little or no notice and then talk about how they’ve heard from South Dakotans. Yet people here fall for it.

  5. Cory: “How hard is it to figure out that Donald Trump and his Republicans don’t care about anyone but big business?” That is not the question.

    The question is when did so many rank-and-file Republicans, especially the “family values” conservatives (not meant as a pejorative – but an honest identification) around here become OK with so much of their party’s leadership using THEIR support to do these things in THEIR name? Why are the majority of SD voters perpetuating these policies with their unwavering support of the candidates that push them?

  6. mike from iowa

    If this doesn’t make a sane person scratch his/her head. I don’t know what it takes. These people must be masochists.

  7. mfi, the reason trump voters say they would do it again is this. The geezers like to go to the mall and walk inside its climate controlled, well lighted walkways. trump and his regime have emptied the malls from retail shops so the geezers don’t have to bump into those shoppers who like to window shop. Simple stuff as we know in South Dakota, stop retail sales, lower sales tax receipts and you have the trump economy. Complete without those pesky customers getting in your way.

  8. Bob Newland

    Anybody heard from Joel Arends lately?

  9. Roger Cornelius

    I heard about the new 45 approval polls this morning but wasn’t able to find them, thanks for providing the link.
    Those terrible number must be breaking 45’s little pea picking heart.

  10. mike from iowa

    You would be wrong, my friend. Drumpf thinks his numbers are great. 53% of wingnuts think he is a strong leader. He cherry picks the good stuff and ignores the rest.

    He is trying to pass off the 100 day plan as someone else’s idea. Then he claims he has gotten much done-especially the Scotus pick.

  11. mike from iowa

    Trump touts new polls: ‘Very good considering that much of the media is FAKE’

  12. DFP sponsor Adelstein’s son was on the board once thanks to Tom Daschle.

    Commissioners voted 2-1 to lift agency restrictions on large business data services (BDS) providers like AT&T and Verizon. The regulations require incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to lease portions of their networks to smaller competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) like Sprint and Level 3 at regulated rates to boost competition.

    the new chair trump republican appointment and the other republican voted down the lone dem member.

    the lack of a transition period before the rules take effect won’t give businesses adequate time to prepare for the price hike many are predicting, and which AT&T already announced earlier this week.

  13. Drey Samuelson

    Great catch, Cory–I hadn’t seen this anywhere until I read it here.

    It’s ironic, as Trump wouldn’t be sitting in the White House without the overwhelming support of rural American, and yet so many of his policies are directly opposite their interests… Rural people should be raising unholy hell about this stuff, and I sure hope they do!

  14. Drey, I expect we’ll hear some schools, hospitals, and small businesses raising heck when they see their first Internet rate hikes from AT&T. Bookmark this policy, and in 2018, ask your Congressional candidates whether they support Trump’s rate hike or whether they will support legislation to repeal it.

  15. I am disappointed but not shocked. There has been a move toward privatization for decades and the people’s willingness to accept it is mystifying. When will they wake up and smell the coffee?

    The Internet was created by our tax dollars. I see no reason to allow a privileged class to control access to it.

  16. Douglas Wiken

    Rural residents (and I am one of them) mostly vote Republican. Those elected GOP partisans then turn around and punish rural people and screw the rural poor into the ground and they come back in the next election and again vote for the GOP thugs.

    I don’t understand it. Those who push the idea of cognitive dissonance causing people to refuse to alter a world or larger view when data contracts it, but instead attack the messenger and ignore data may have a kind of explanation.