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Trump Still Ignoring Rural Broadband: Zero Targeted Funding in Infrastructure Plan

Last month I noted that Donald Trump was making empty promises on expanding rural Americans’ access to broadband Internet. His new infrastructure proposal proves my point:

President Donald Trump’s $200 billion infrastructure proposal released Monday includes $50 billion in funding for rural communities, but nothing specific for broadband deployment.

Even though Trump has talked about the importance of expanding broadband in rural areas, he has not committed any funding to help build networks. Instead, his efforts have been aimed at eliminating red tape and regulation to get infrastructure built.

…”I am deeply disappointed that the president failed to include dedicated broadband funding in his infrastructure proposal,” Rep. Peter Welch a Democrat from Vermont said in a statement. “This glaring omission is a betrayal of the rural voters that supported him in his election, and a missed opportunity to close the digital divide that separates rural and urban America” [Marguerite Reardon, “Trump Infrastructure Plan Leaves Out Rural Broadband Funding,” CNet.com, 2018.02.12].

More than a year in the White House, and Donald Trump still hasn’t learned to put his money where his mouth is.

And remember, Trump would offset the $200 billion in his infrastructure plan with $240 billion in cuts to other infrastructure and transportation spending, making his plan a net loss for the country.

7 Comments

  1. jerry 2018-02-24

    Thanks to President Obama vision, we now have miles and miles of cable stretched across most of South Dakota for fiber optics. Thanks to trump/NOem/Rounds/Thune/Jackley/Krebs and Opie, those systems will not be usable due to the removal of Net Neutrality at reasonable prices. AT&
    t just offered now its “fast lane” for service. How that would work is that you pay an even higher rate for services to get what you now have in your offerings. Billions for cable operators, crap for you…unless you pay double or triple.

    Billie Sutton would fight for Net Neutrality for our state as governor, as would Tim Bjorkman in the House to make the change to actual infrastructure expansion without the cost being burdened further to taxpayers. As Cory notes, the bait and switch being offered by the republicans is not going to do a thing for infrastructure, nothing, but increase costs with less service.

  2. Donald Pay 2018-02-24

    The Republicans will give them what they want on God, guns, gays, Muslims, blacks and immigrants. As they sink deeper into third world status, unable to communicate with the first world, they will have the hate infrastructure they voted for. Who needs 21st century infrastructure when you can have 11th century hate?

  3. Dana P 2018-02-25

    Yeah, this “promise better broadband for rural” is something that Thune has been promising for a long time. Here in the Central Hills, we were “notified” a few years ago when Century Link got all of the tax money, that higher speed more reliable internet was on its way! Yahoo! Waited for about two years – then FINALLY saw some installation of fiber optics lines being installed (this is what the Century Link fellers told me when I stopped to chat with them) But…..no switch ever got flipped! The high speed internet that we were promised, didn’t happen. Fast forward about 2 years after that, I saw a Century Link feller doing some work along Hwy 385. Stopped and had a chat with him and asked him when we would be getting that high speed internet. He rolled his eyes (yes, he did!) and told me that the state/feds were playing political games and Century Link was also playing games. That “turning on” the internet was going to cost CL too much money so they were stalling.

    Yes, CL finally “turned on” the internet here. Top speed? 14 mbps. Yes, you read that correctly! 14!! So most of us in these parts are still relying on satellite internet. $80/month. Limited/capped data bank (unless you pay more). You are allowed bonus data between midnight and 8:00 am. (cough) Streaming between 1-2 movies/month, pretty much wipes out your data bank. So satellite internet mostly used for internet surfing, emailing, etc.

    The promise of better rural broadband? Has been happening for years. Won’t happen with Thune/Rounds/Noem — and it certainly won’t happen with Tweety Bird in Chief.

  4. jerry 2018-02-25

    14 mbps is about like dial up in the old AOL days, I can still hear that howl in my ears. I think one of the problems with any of the public utilities is that they are beholding to investors who only want to see profits. You can expect a rate increase any day now from the power companies even though there has not been a blizzard to knock down a couple of poles. The cable operators and the power companies do not want to spend a nickel on infrastructure unless the poles fall to the ground. Chris Nelson and the corrupted gang at the PUC think all of this is okay too, you know those contributions are important, a helluva lot more important than doing their jobs.

    For the record, John Thune thinks that 14 mbps is okay in his book as it is above 10. Ask him, he will tell you that what you have is more than acceptable because someone told him that. But, by golly, the feller looks good in them chino’s and starched shirts. Farmers and ranchers fall for his bull puckey on every issue.

  5. grudznick 2018-02-25

    Mr. jerry, in the really old days before that AOL thing started sending coasters to everybody in the world through the mail, people used these puffy things they’d squish the phone into. They were 300 bps and squealed like an amputated cat. That’s bps, not mbps. Old days.

  6. Dana P 2018-02-25

    jerry……. you are absolutely correct!!!

  7. grudznick 2018-02-25

    Mr. Pay, I must remind you that not all Republicans even believe in this “God” of whom you type. Please don’t lump all Republicans in with the overgodders.

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