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White House Paints Depressing Portrait of U.S. Broadband

White House broadband
(Image credit: N/A)

The White House has released state-by-state arguments (in the form of "fact sheets") for why the President's almost $2 trillion infrastructure (American Jobs Plan) bill is necessary including painting a glass-half-empty of broadband availability, including speed and competition and price in the definition of broadband issues that need $100 billion in subsidy money to address.

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For example, for New York, the White House talks about almost a third of New Yorkers who live where "there is only one broadband provider" offering at least "minimally acceptable speeds." And even where broadband is available, the White House said, it "may be too expensive to be within reach." Then it talks about 13% of New York households without an internet subscription, though it does not say whether that is because they can't get it or can't afford it or don't want it. 

In Virginia, the same portrait of deficits in "minimally acceptable speeds and "only one provider" and "may be too expensive" are offered up for the need for massive subsidies. 

Also Read: FCC's Rural Broadband Subsidy Bidding Begins

In fact, a check of a half-dozen more states from Maine to Florida, California to Louisiana found the same observations of deficits and expense, with only the percentages changing.

Each "Broadband" item ended with the same pledge: "The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed, and affordable coverage to every family in America," clearly suggesting that using the government money to overbuild to create competition or some kind of price regulation were on the table.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.