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Universal Broadband Plan Calls For $44 Billion

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the let-them-download dept.

The Internet 414

Andy King writes "The new Obama administration has pledged to deploy next-generation broadband to every community in America, but have offered few specifics. The Free Press have published a specific plan to accomplish broadband for all." I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or waiting on hold for cable tech support.

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I'll sue ya! (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227079)

The RIAA is not going to like this.

Re:I'll sue ya! (5, Interesting)

base3 (539820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227091)

The RIAA is going to love this. A big Federal investment in broadband will give the feds the leverage they need to enforce the three-strikes laws the MAFIAA will get now that their party is in power (having failed to even stall music sharing by abusing the courts). Before everyone jumps all over me, I voted for Obama, but let's face it: the Democratic party is practically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the "content" "industry".

Re:I'll sue ya! (4, Informative)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227623)

Whew !

I thought they were gonna ask for another 200 billion ! []

This is a deal !

Niggers. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227089)

It's what you get when you elect them.

Re:Niggers. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227133)

Tell you what, asshole: pick a time and place, and a description of yourself, and I'll show up and kick the living shit out of you. Call it an old-fashioned, old-Testament-style trial by might of arms.

Re:Niggers. (-1, Flamebait)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227231)

Look, an internet tough guy responding to a troll!

Can I make you my LOLCOW? I bet you can't help but responding.

Re:Niggers. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227325)

If only there was a -1: Flamebaited

and why he shouldnt ? (-1, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227331)

give me ANY reason not to respond to an internet troll. what are we gaining by not responding ? all we are doing is to create the impression that noone dare oppose those views, for the uninformed readers. you, me, other communities' members, people who know internet may discern a troll. but many ordinary users will not be able to.

Re:and why he shouldnt ? (0, Offtopic)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227405)

uh actually, you just make the troll look like an asshat by not responding. remember: arguing on the internet is like the special olympics. even if you win, you're still retarded.

Re:and why he shouldnt ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227557)

We assume that your nigger is well trained and very gentle. By gentle we mean that he won't bite, kick, or strike inappropriately.

We are going to cover four reliable ways of bringing your nigger to orgasm:

1) Masturbation. If he is fully withdrawn you may get him to drop his member by using one finger to lightly trace the opening cleft at the tip of his prepuce.
2) Blowing Him up. While grasping the shaft with one hand use the free hand to cup and massage the base of his member in the area of the scrotum. As he becomes more excited the erectile tissue associated with the glans-penis will engorge.
3) Anal intercourse - front to back. To do this safely requires the right nigger-to-person size relationship. If he is too long and your legs are too short you may be in trouble. I often have to stand on my toes while he goes at it to keep him from going too deep.
4) Anal intercourse - face to face. It has never happened to me but there is a good chance of getting an ashy mitt to the face with this, so wear head gear at least until the two of you have some facility with this. Also you will need to wear steel-toed boots. And you will need a few watermelons wrapped in blankets, or something similar in size and shape to that. A raw cantaloupe just won't do - he wouldn't like it, trust me.

All of this is generally difficult to do without watermelons unless your nigger has something to climb onto, and ideally this should be you. Lead your nigger to the place (cage, pen, stall, etc.) that you have selected to be your regular playspace. Remove his loin cloth and give him a couple of minutes to acclimate to the setting, piss, take a dump, whatever. He may or may not let down his member in either case.

Re:and why he shouldnt ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227603)

thats what WE think.

to an ordinary occasional internet subscriber, and they are in the majority, such a post that is not responded to may seem like an uncontested opinion, when reached through a random google result.

Re:Niggers. (-1, Troll)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227445)

Okay, I'll bite since a few here think you should be responded to. What exactly is "it" that you get when you elect niggers?

This article is about broadband access, more specifically the new president's thoughts on providing it to everyone, presumably even yourself unless you opt to not use it because the president is black or something. Judging from the kind of data you seem to want to share on the Internet I'm going to guess that many people will feel a small smile inside when they think of you sitting at home rubbing your cheeto stained fingers in your nose while watching reruns of Beevis and Butthead till the wee hours of the morning in your mom's basement.

Just so you might get some clue, Obama promised change and for better or worse this would be change, except the part about you picking your nose with cheetos stained fingers. One thing I'm not sure that anyone in the government really understands is that people who are not paying for broadband now are likely to not want to pay for it in the future either. Add to that the fact that the government will then be responsible for helping virus software to spread at an alarmingly faster pace in the US, and subsequently the world. I doubt that such careless thinking has any fucking thing to do with the skin color of the president, though if all the cable that gets installed is black, you might be on to something.

Now, that didn't even address the horrific possibilities of invasion of privacy, federal enforcement of copyright infringement laws, and big brother right in your house 24/7. I'm also reasonably certain that the government had a pretty good grip on those evils long before a black man ever stepped foot inside the Whitehouse never mind electing a black man.

It's certain that the US imprisons more people every year than the rest of the world put together so that can't be Obama's fault. If he changes that by decriminalizing a few things it would be good change. If he doesn't it's status quo and you can blame the fucking white man for that.

Others here on /. are probably as confused as I am... what exactly is it that you get when you elect niggers?

Re:Niggers. (0, Offtopic)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227595)

Troll? Awesome, thanks for wasting your mod point... wow

Re:Niggers. (0, Flamebait)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227629)

No, this is what you get when you elect fascists.

Yes, I'm talking about traditional fascism... not the kind that is just an insult. There used to be people who prided themselves on being fasicsts just as people claim they are socialists or capitalists. I should say fascism is hard to define exactly. However Obama is especially fascist in his economic and social views.

He is not socialist, but believes the government should call the shots in the economy and have a policy for the economy. Basically corporatism.
His social policies are similarly fascist. Serve the state and you are rewarded. At the core of fascism is typically the view of rebirth. That after a nation is in decline, it must be reborn. Lack of class struggle...

There's a reason why fascism is popular. There is a reason why people elected Hitler or supported Mossulini.
It sounded like a good idea at the time :) They got things done. Fascism is a reaction. Of couse we can look back and realize what a disaster it was.

Promises doesn't cost much (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227095)

So far Obama is very good at promises, they don't cost a dime. Let's see how many he can pull through in real.

Re:Promises doesn't cost much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227117)

It is a hell of a mess that Bush will leave for him, and Obama doesn't have any conclusive power until sworn in. That is still almost a month away. Making plans and gathering intelligence are the only things his office can do right now while waiting.

Bigger headache? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227103)

I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or waiting on hold for cable tech support.

It sounds like that as long as you have something to bitch about, you'll be happy enough.

Re:Bigger headache? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227519)

Thank you, well said.

this will finally be .... (1)

koutbo6 (1134545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227105)

the year of the linu .... um ...

Comca$t to raise rates by $44 billion (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227109)

Comca$t already plans to raise rates by $44 billion when the $44 billion in broadband vouchers is awarded to qualifying households. Being paid by Comca$t, we say the more broadband entitlements, the better.

Re:Comca$t to raise rates by $44 billion (5, Funny)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227205)

I think there's something wrong with your "s" key. You should check your key-mapping.

Re:Comca$t to raise rates by $44 billion (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227225)

I would have thought the instances where a dollar symbol is appropriate would be replaced by an s. Bizarre key mapping indeed.

Re:Comca$t to raise rates by $44 billion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227349)

$erio$ly, $top u$ing the $tupid dollar $ign, it'$ ju$t $tupid. Fag.

Constitutional basis for the pork? (0)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227153)

Not that they'll bother, but I'd be curious as to what power delegated to the Federal government under the US Constitution authorizes such an expenditure of the taxpayer's funds.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227217)

The Constitution gives the Federal Government power to regulate interstate commerce. That's the same reason they were able to build the interstate highway system. Given how popular web shopping has become (as well as web based services), I don't think any constitutional roadblocks will present themselves.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227531)

Per above, the Commerce Clause cannot, at its most liberal reading, authorize any expenditures on the creation of infrastructure.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227221)

Uhhh...the commerce clause. Not that I agree with it though.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (4, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227501)

The Commerce Clause, given its widest interpretation, would only allow for national regulation of the internet (I'm guessing this is how the ban on an internet tax got done), not building out the network.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227237)

I don't think the Constitution has really had all that much to do with the government since the New Deal. When I read the Constitution, the government it brings to mind isn't much like what we have now. That said, I do think the voters are getting what we want on average, and the country has made vast progress in the last 80 years. I guess it would be better if we ammended the Constitution instead of just ignoring or re-interpreting it, but I doubt the end result is much different either way.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (1, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227357)

Please point out where the Constitution restricts the ability of the federal government to spend money. Where it speaks of "powers," such as those reserved for the states, that's not generally understood as spending power, but as the power to, for instance, arrest you for growing pot to deal with your migraines. Clearly the founders did not intend for the federal government to have vast powers over what people could legally do, except when they entered into interstate commerce, in which case a federal role is necessary since states don't have power in each other's territory.

But to say that the Constitution requires the federal government to avoid spending money on Internets, or interstates, or elaborate embassies on the Moon ... what's your basis for that?

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (4, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227577)

The Federal government only has the authority to carry out its delegated duties as enumerated in the US Constitution, and has the necessary and proper taxing and spending powers to implement them. The spending power is very much reserved to the several States outside of the specific enumerated functions of the Federal government. As for interstate commerce, as understood by the Founders, this was merely a grant of power to make commerce regular, to prevent States from engaging in protectionism against one another.

You're reading the Constitution backwards. It was not written to be a comprehensive listing of what the Federal government could not do. All of its limited powers were exclusively those enumerated within the Constitution. If it was not written, the Federal government had no authority in that area, absent an amendment. This was the Federalists (anti-federalists) argument for the ratification of the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists (federalists), when pushing for a Bill of Rights, were told that no such amendments were needed, as where the Constitution was silent, the Federal government would lack all power. The Constitution itself forbids the Federal government from expending funds on the Internet and the interstate, although not embassies on the Moon, if this was required for foreign relations between the Federal government of the US and one or more foreign powers. Even if this wasn't enough, the 9th and 10th Amendments make it doubly clear that the Federal government lacks such authority.

And yes, I know the current Federal government almost completely ignores the Constitution, but both this and the lack of fidelity of the people of the several States was foreseen by the Constitution's opponents before it was even ratified, and reality should not lead one to blind themselves to violation of principle.

Re:Constitutional basis for the pork? (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227373)

The "taxing and spending" clause. Atleast that is the simplest one to choose from as it gives the federal goverment near unlimited power in taxing/spending because of the subjective "general welfare" part.

Really, the US constitution is so full of loopholes and interpetations that I am amazed at how much otherwise reasonable people swear by it. Swearing at it is more appropriate at times.

Never mind that the goverment can make an unconstitutional law and it can still take years for the law to get repelled with no consequences to those who made the law. For something that involves spending the money will be used up by then so it is a total win for goverment power in any case.

"Pork" vs "infrastructure" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227377)

I am really tired of the recent "pork" bashing in the latest election cycles. We need infrastructure spending. I suppose you'd say that money to build roads is also "pork". Like fixing that bridge that fell down in Minnesota a few years ago because of attitudes like yours. I for one am sick of this Reaganesque attitude towards spending we've had for the last 28 years, and I'm glad we'll have people who aren't afraid to invest in the future.

Do you think Europe and Asia is afraid of using public money for these purposes? Maybe the answer to that has something to do with why we're losing ground and they are gaining.

We do need to have some harsh regulations so that assholes like Comcast and the telecom cartels don't abuse us. But that is another story...

Re:"Pork" vs "infrastructure" (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227435)

Pork usually refers to projects that can't even begin to justify themselves on a national-infrastructure basis, like the proverbial "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska that would have served a handful of isolated, specific citizens at a cost to the rest of many millions of dollars.

I don't think anyone considers major interstate highway and bridge maintenance to be pork.

Re:"Pork" vs "infrastructure" (2, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227587)

"I don't think anyone considers major interstate highway and bridge maintenance to be pork."

Until relatively recently, they did. People are quickly corrupted when their neighbor's money is dangled in front of their faces.

Re:"Pork" vs "infrastructure" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227459)

so you'll be sending an extra 10% of your yearly take home to the "gubment" this year with no strings attached as a donation......


I love all these people that think money grows on fucking trees.

Re:"Pork" vs "infrastructure" (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227621)

It is not the infrastructure that I am worried about, because like you I think rebuilding our failing infrastructure, including broadband is long overdo. What I AM worried about is the bible thumpers will get together with the "big nanny government" types and we'll end up with a great firewall of the USA to keep you from using federal property to look at anything they don't agree with. And considering the amount of crap the big corps, the big nanny government types, and the bible thumpers have managed to shovel through congress into our law books I think it is a legitimate concern.

While I hope it doesn't end up that way, would YOU trust these congress critters who keep passing crap like DMCA and that crazy law where you can get busted for having a jap hentai mag if some prude judge decides the CARTOON is underage(WTF?) to pass responsible and pro individual rights laws with regards to the Internet? I bet the *.A.As and the bible thumpers are drooling all over themselves at the thought of being able to lock everything down at the backbone. After all it'll be paid for with "federal dollars" and shouldn't be used for any illegal and illicit purposes,now should it?

Amendment X (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227157)

Is there some ambiguity here that I'm missing?

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Re:Amendment X (2, Informative)

KarrdeSW (996917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227245)

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

Interstate and foreign commercial enterprise is very literally what the internet is now meant to achieve. These days, people purchase so many products and conduct so many transactions across state lines through the web that any specific area without the infrastructure to get broadband access becomes handicapped, as they are without the ability to effectively move their services online. I will admit this is not a perfect fit in a grammatical sense, BUT the internet did not exist when the constitution was written, so a certain evolution of the statement's meaning is to be expected.

Re:Amendment X (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227269)

You know what?

AirTunes would be great, if like, you know, AirPort Express and Extreme was the same product. Express cost a little bit to much, wifi sound is cool but why the fuck don't it offer HDD support? Airport Extreme cost even more but atleast you can connect a HDD, but it don't have optical output ... Don't get me started on the retardness of buying time capsule, the 1 TB drive cost like $500 over here ... (For the DRIVE, not for the whole unit.)

And well, if Apple wasn't retarded and only used it for iTunes instead of all audio output (AirFoil fix this but it should be the default) and it it worked for 5.1 or something such and not only 2.0.

iTunes = Shitty codec support.
AirTunes = Good idea, shitty implementation, like everything from Apple.
Combination == Pay a lot for a weak result thanks to retardness of Apple.

Re:Amendment X (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227555)

So use your own router and build your own storage unit. You don't have to buy Apple products if you don't want to, and iTunes on Windows or Mac will stream just fine through a regular router and external drive. I do exactly that.

As for the actual topic of this article...I'd prefer not to have 100% of my internet traffic routed through government filters. I know a lot of it is watched at present, and I have nothing to hide except maybe my credit card numbers when I buy from newegg and amazon. It's just sort of creepy to know for sure that your government is watching your every online move.

Of course, I personally think Obama doesn't give a rat's ass what people are doing online and he genuinely wants cheap, easy broadband for the masses. It's those who work under him that I worry about.

My Solution: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227163)

Many of us here would agree that allowing municipalities/communities to create their own ISPs and lay their own fiber is a better solution than allowing the 800lb gorillas to maintain their monopolies by burying any homegrown networks under a flurry of lawsuits.

The Fix: States need to pass laws that explicitly allow for those municipal/community network infrastructure and ISPs that comcast/verizon/at&t/etc are fighting.

How: Have the Feds blackmail the States by tying some important Federal Funding to the passage of such law.

But: Blackmail is bad. I agree. But telecoms have a stranglehold on State legislatures and any other solution is just going to increase the stranglehold that telecoms have on State/Federal legislative bodies.

Obama doesn't need to twist arms, he needs to kick the States where it hurts: their pocketbook.

Fixed the article (0)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227167)

I'm not sure which will be the bigger headache when my internet breaks: waiting in line at the new government internet office, or the feds knocking down my door when I visit a site that promotes something against their good christian morals.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Fixed the article (2, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227403)

This is precisely what I was thinking. Are we really to believe that the government won't do some type of censorship in the name of children, etc...? And if it's not censorship, it will be snooping, which they do illegally anyway and get away with. I don't want them having MORE avenues. I'm not being a naysayer because I'm a paranoid twat with a tinfoil hat. I'm being a naysayer because the government already does these type of actions elsewhere. Do we need it in more places that take up our daily lives?

part of the problem (1)

itsthebin (725864) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227173)

why does Australia have the " National Broadband Network "

and the USofA has the "Universal Broadband Network" ?

or will it be owned by a hollywood studio ??

these spin doctors need a good kick in the nuts - a polished turd is still a turd , no matter what moniker it has been given.

Re:part of the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227569)

Its gonna cost more than a few billion to provide broadband to the entire universe, and they will have to invent some FTL communication system to make it practical.

step 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227177)

If they copy Australia, they'll do the following:

1 get tenders
2 get joke tenders from the biggest telcos
3 kick out the biggest telcos
4 decide to filter it all to dialup speed anyhow (all in the name of saving the kiddies)
5 reveal that they want to filter p2p too
6 dither about for a year
7 spend the best part of the next 5 years in court

1-5 have already happened here.

Not holding my breath (1)

D_Blackthorne (1412855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227189)

Preface: I voted for Obama. Why? No better choices. That being said, I think he's on the up-and-up.

That being out of the way: This sounds lovely on paper, but I don't think it's going to work out the way he thinks it will; much easier said than done. Telecoms all over the country have been resistant (to say the least!) of "free" broadband, and they sure as hell haven't been trying to reduce the costs of broadband OR going out of their way to increase the size (OR the capacity!) of their networks. My $0.02 worth on the subject is that throwing money at this subject likely won't do much of anything other than line the already well-lined pockets of the telecoms, there needs to be some sort of reform(s) to go along with it (read as: strings attached to the money, SERIOUS strings). Even then.. not so sure I want the gov'ment mucking about with the Internet any more than they already do.

See, geeks voting for Clinton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227643)

probably thought so too: no better choices. And we got DMCA, CALEA, NET Act, and more. Whereas Republicans in power might not have been so receptive to the copyright lobbies. Even Bush's administration did threaten to veto the bill that called for DoJ prosecution of civil(!) copyright lawsuits.

            So, my money is on some serious additions to the above wonderful laws, soon enough, and some major change and hope for the entertainment industry.

            In fact I'd take clueless old school porn-fighters any day: the society knows how to route around them, 1st Amendment and all that. Routing around DMCA lawyers is not so easy.

carbon footprint (1, Flamebait)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227197)

so what is the carbon footprint of a $44B dollar broadband system - or are you going to tell me its solar powered....

Re:carbon footprint (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227277)

so what is the carbon footprint of a $44B dollar broadband system

You tell me, what's the carbon footprint of:

Telecommuting vs. commuting
Watching a streaming video at home vs. driving to blockbuster or a big air-conditioned theater
Shopping online vs. shopping at the mall
scp'ing gigabytes of data instead of fedexing a DVD
Having a video conference instead of flying across the country for a face-to-face.

Pervasive broadband won't eliminate any of those things, but even just a few percent reduction would be a huge payoff.

Re:carbon footprint (1, Insightful)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227371)

my guess is its a complete wash - its just a transfer usage, if people are at home more they are using more electricity at home - delivery trucks have to bring the goods to you - etc. There are some jobs that can be done effectively by telecommuting - many more that cannot - about the biggest impact broadband for the masses will have is to expand the porn industry...

Re:carbon footprint (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227493)

... about the biggest impact broadband for the masses will have is to expand the porn industry.

Now, I actually have no problem with that.

Re:carbon footprint (1)

david614 (10051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227299)

Maybe it will be delivered using part of the new 700 Mhz spectrum that is supposed to be freed up.... Maybe

Re:carbon footprint (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227429)

Who gives a shit!

Besides, we are so in debt that our state and federal gov needs to cut back. Of all the new spending plans, blowing 44 Billion on broadband should be at the bottom of the list.

Why is it that we have to do with less, but the government can't? Why is it that the majority of people on Slashdot are happy to have the government tax us more so it can retain the status-quo? Of all things in this world, it just doesn't compute!

Re:carbon footprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227497)

because morons think with their hearts instead of their brains.

believe me, the day that the bill comes due, the ones thinking all this spending is a good idea will be right in line with everyone else bitching because the extra taxes on business (here's a tip, businesses don't pay taxes, they never have, they pass them on to consumers or employees) and on themselves are making them not have enough money or a job.

Re:carbon footprint (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227481)

so what is the carbon footprint of a $44B dollar broadband system

Internet-posting hypocrite! Even if you don't use broadband, dial-up forces electrical current through the telephone line. Probably far more costly than fiber-optic lines, especially waiting hours to download that XP hotfix.

Stop assuming (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227215)

Can someone read the article in depth? It doesn't sound like free Internet. It sounds like a bunch of things working together to provide broadband access everywhere. Some people have dial-up in America still, don't they? Some people don't have choices. Isn't this about bringing reasonably-priced broadband to all areas?

Re:Stop assuming (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227547)

That is how it sounds on paper, but the current ISP monopolies sound exactly the same on paper. In reality it means that rather than having dial up you now can get Cable/Internet by Time Warner/Comcast (or depending on how far towards 1984 Obama wants to go, the government) but it will always be crappy service for a high price and usually there won't be any choice other than one and because on paper it shows you have broadband it doesn't matter to the government or to other businesses if you are paying $1000 per month for it because you have no other choice.

cost per square kilometer (1)

fpgaprogrammer (1086859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227219)

44 Billion Dollars / Area of US = 4,477.63 U.S. dollars per Square Kilometer

I can build a wireless transceiver for well under $1000 that can provide 100 Mbps coverage to 1 square kilometer (564 meter radius). It will cost more like $100 each if we're making 10M.

The real hurdle isn't technical, but political: we need to stop licensing bandwidth to private corporations and start sharing the entire spectrum.

Re:cost per square kilometer (1)

SLi (132609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227381)

Will you also install it, negotiating with the possible landowners, maintain it, be prepared to fix it, and provide all the necessary support services for it for that price?

Not that I think 44 billion USD is little money. Whether it will be enough will remain to be seen (probably depends largely among other things on how badly the dollar is going to collapse now that it has happened).

A deal with the devil? I hope not. (5, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227223)

I don't mind the government promoting the spread of broadband, but I hope that in the process it steers clear of content filtering and content monitoring. This is potentially one of those "deal with the devil" situations, so let's make sure it's done right. Let's make sure free-speech and privacy rights are well protected from the very beginning. Let's avoid a situation similar to that currently faced by public broadcasters who, due to the public nature of the airwaves, are forced to accept what would in any other context constitute unconstitutional restraint on speech.

Re:A deal with the devil? I hope not. (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227295)

We'd be doing great if we can simply stick to the principles the Post Office already uses: don't open my mail without a warrant. Censorship in the mail hasn't generally been a big problem.

But don't get me wrong, this could easily (probably?) break the wrong way when people start talking about "your tax dollars paying to deliver ."

Re:A deal with the devil? I hope not. (0)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227327)

I don't mind the government promoting the spread of broadband

But I do mind. If you would like to promote the spread of broadband, donate to relevant causes. What you should not do is persuade the government to expand its purpose beyond security and the protection of individual rights.

This reminds me of my boss, who falls into the $250,000+ tax bracket that Obama is supposed to hit hard. He said, "I'm all for using more of my money if it will fix the economy." What I felt like saying was, "what about the other 250k+'ers who aren't 'all for it' or who see how ludicrous the plan is? Do you presume to speak for them when you promote the violation of their rights?"

Re:A deal with the devil? I hope not. (3, Insightful)

SLi (132609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227389)

How do you propose the society function if taxation is a violation of a person's rights?

Re:A deal with the devil? I hope not. (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227521)

With very, very, very minimal taxation and a very, very, very minimal state, the way it should be. Ideally, the government should only do four things, A) Protect citizens from foreign invasion B) Protect citizens from fraud C) Printing a stable currency *preferably backed by something other than "the full faith of the government"* and D) Protecting citizens from harm from other citizens.

Today, we have the government making laws on things that they have no business doing, such as maintaining a strong copyright system (if the government finds it necessary to implement a copyright system, 20 years should be the maximum on copyright), regulating civil affairs (such as marriage, employment, sex, etc) or by censoring the airwaves (regulation is fine if necessary, I'm not sure if I want my cell phone having to compete with a huge signal, but no censorship, at all. Ever.).

The ideal government would be minimal at most, nowhere close to this huge governmental we have today who thinks its their business to deal with day-to-day affairs of people.

Re:A deal with the devil? I hope not. (1)

mbius (890083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227633)

I don't mind the government promoting the spread of broadband, but I hope... This is potentially one of those "deal with the devil" situations, so let's make sure it's done right.

There is no such thing as a deal with the devil, done right. It's the whole damned point of the analogy.

Let's make sure free-speech and privacy rights are well protected from the very beginning.

Good idea. We ought to put them in the Constitution somewhere, to ensure they're never violated.

shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227259)

already. universal healthcare, other public services, or other services that are held by private sector in other countries work very well in europe, but SOMEHOW, goverment is always 'inefficient' in united states.

or, rather, you people are WAY too brainwashed with the private sector propaganda and lobbying there. for example, the concept of 'lobbying corporation' is an abomination that exists mainly in united states. remember how they spent 100 million on advertisements on how network neutrality was 'sabotaging jobs' back 2 years ago in the blink of an eye over a month, in order to push laws to turn internet into cable tv ? if you dont, you should.

i have to say this here - if, you are unable to make your government work more efficiently than european countries, its YOUR fault. its your country, government is YOUR corporation, you are the inalienable shareholder, you should f@cking stand up and demand your rights, and your rights to be protected from private interests, yourself. someone is not going to come and do it for you.

and no, blabbering 'government is inefficient' and selling your butt to private sector WONT help, just like we saw what happened with healthcare, and credit crisis.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (2, Interesting)

david614 (10051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227317)

I completely agree. I have long tired of Americans whining about their own ability to exercise self-government. Sometimes we act as if a(n) alleged failure to make government "efficient" in the US is some sort of law of nature. And after the recent "market perfections" of Wall Street and the banks, they have real cohones condemning the USG as inefficient....

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (3, Insightful)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227411)

Government threatens to sue private business unless they lend irresponsibly to people who won't repay their loads (See Community Reinvestment Act, Jimmy Carter's Democrat Congress). Then the government starts giving out its own irresponsible loans (Freddie/Fannie), inflates their value, sells them all over the world, and prints up $700bn from nowhere to prevent the sky from falling while cursing the tophat-wearing capitalists for their greed to cover up the cause and source of the problem. Being a good Commie, well-versed in doublethink, I conclude that I want them to control my internet too, because private business is corrupt.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227529)

The bubble was caused by fly-by-night mortgage companies (whom the Community Reinvestment Act doesn't apply to) accepting ridiculous valuations on exurban mcmansions (which deliberately were nowhere near CRA communities) and finding analysts who did some inept statistics and gave them unrealistic ratings, so they could be unloaded on banks and hedge funds before the music stopped.

The CRA didn't call for offering NINJA loans and teaser rates to anyone who could fog a mirror. A loan officer's job is picking people who are good credit risks, and those people exist even in poor communities.

dont feed that bullsh@t to us (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227563)

stop it.

the credit crisis did NOT result from the lending to risky borrowers due to those laws, but, from the fact that the bastardly corporations of yours conjured 'derivative' assets over those mortgages, juggled them into complex composure hedge funds and sold them for over SIXTY TIMES their value. now, mark that, SIXTY Times.

because these were considered as investments, therefore assets, the corporations and banks which invested in those showed them in their balance sheets. therefore, all those WATER VAPOR assets have been taken into account while calculating those companies financial health factors, borrowing/lending power and so on. governments and regulators worldwide have given o.k. for those corporations to buy, borrow or lend upon those numbers, because there were no reason not to trust investment banks in united states. entire world thought that they would act responsibly, like total fools.

and those banks and corporations borrowed, lent, loaned and invested ALSO calculating those assets. therefore many of them loaned money/value they dont have, many of them borrowed value that is not there.

and then it turned out that the regulators in u.s. did SH@T of a job in regulating and assessing the financial health of the lenders and the SCAM they were running. why ?

why ! government is inefficient !! if government meddles in business, it kills jobs !!! hands off business !!!

thats why.

and when it came out that the wealth which ENTIRE world thought that was there, was actually a SCAM, VOID, WATER VAPOR. ON PAPER

you know the rest.

dont feed me that stupid 'risky borrower' shit. if a risky borrower bought a house through mortgage, EVEN if the bank gave the mortgage from an overinflated price of 600 k value despite the house was worth actually 400, and the house now only sells for 300 k, 1 million americans risking foreclosure means that there should be only 300 bn worth of assets at stake.

america already provided 700 bn in bailout cash, britain 160 bn, germany 600 and france 400 bn, switzerland 80 bn.

these cover the risky mortgages OVER a few times.

so why bailout money is not fixing the situation ?


if you multiply 300 bn with SIXTY, the overselling rate of those FAKE assets, you can get to a rough number of $180 trillion. 180 trillion dollars worth of FAKE assets or more were sold around the world, by your banks, which were NOT regulated in regard to what sh@t they were pulling out.

being brainwashed by private corporations, is your thing. private, personal. we, out of civilized respect, only can voice our opinion on it, but not demand anything. that was what we have done up until now.

however, when your corporations SCAM entire world, excuse me, but that takes on a whole different meaning. this is a global world. you cant do your will and still continue trading globally. you will have to f@cking stick by modern global regulatory standards, and use proper regulatory methods, or you will be going back to herding cattle from kansas to california. for, noone will trade with you again like that. imf, wto, are already pressurizing your government to take its responsibility. you better heed their words.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227607)

Sorry, over 80% of these crap loans were made by private companies. Freddie and Fannie were basically railroaded into participating in this twisted market because of pressure to be profitable. It's hard to compete when all your private sector brethren are bending the rules beyond all reasonable standards of ethics.

This canard of blaming the current crisis on poor minorities and the CRA is hilariously ignorant and borders on bigoted. I'll be charitable and assume you're just repeating what you read in the echo chambers on freerepublic but you still embarass yourself.

Mod parent up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227351)

This free market fundamentalism american exceptionalism shit sickens me to no end. Most of the time the people espousing it are embarassingly ignorant about basic civics and use their vitriol as a cover for the fact that they have no relevant ideas.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (1)

SLi (132609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227431)

That's very well said. I too find it hilarious how the people in the US are so cynical about their own government.

Of course the other extreme is naive too, trusting that the government always knows what's best for us so we don't need to question their authority.

But really, if you think your government is so bad, how about electing a new government. You seem to call it a democracy still. And if you can't find a few thousand good people in the entire country, your country doesn't deserve to survive.

Another funny thing is the UN bashing. Every American seems to think that it is an universally accepted truth that the UN is overly bureaucratic, ineffective and corrupt. Pretty much everywhere else people seem to think that the UN works actually quite well, despite countries like the US not paying their share of it. My best guess is that the myth of a bad UN is perpetuated by the power-sharing elite in the US who doesn't like it that THEY don't have all the say in the world. Of course UN is "ineffective" and "cannot make real decisions" when they don't agree with the American POV.

The UN is probably one of the best things to balance the (apparently now dying) American hegemony since the Cold War -- not that I yearn the return of the Soviet Union either.

Well, either way this world is doomed, but you really need to start seeing the 95% of the world outside your borders. Now that your economy has failed, perhaps you will have to :-)

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (0)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227597)

I'm sorry, but the UN is a failure. The proof lies in their own charter. The UN Charter says it was made to:

"To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind..."

In the 150+ major world conflicts since the formation of the UN, the UN has intervened in two. The Korean war and the 1st gulf war.

2/150 = .01333 or 1.33% success. At any school, that is an F.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227437)

The Health Care and Credit crunch hit Europe too even with your vaunted government regulations.

Keep in mind that even with all our panic about unemployement we are still half of most of the EU because we have all these private sector jobs which employee a lot of people. I love how everyone thinks it will be SO much better if we had one health plan but even if you expand Canada to US population levels and then expand thier health care industry to equal the expansion you have less workers. So.. what will the answer be when we have to deal with 10% unemployment also?

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227589)

The Health Care and Credit crunch hit Europe too even with your vaunted government regulations.

yea, because everyone had the stupidity and foolishness to TRUST american corporations and do business with them.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227471)

Oh and look how well the government did with the FCC. Basically, it allows for government censorship for just about everything on the air. The government doesn't want you saying something? They use the FCC to prevent you from saying it, or they load you up with excessive fines for minor things (wow, someone said "fuck", its a word, get over it). American citizens are right to be wary of any government influence, the government has screwed up more times than we can count on just about everything that deals with technology. The FDA is being lobbied left and right, just look at the case with the Miracle Berry (a fruit that contains a protein that turns sour/bitter flavors sweet to the tongue) But was denied approval by the FDA (most speculate that the Sugar Industry lobbied to stop it, but no files have been released from the FDA, great job with government transparency!) [] .

The government also let AT&T have a monopoly by basically giving them permission to use whatever land they felt like to "modernize" the USA and then did nothing when they started abusing that monopoly (until some time later).

The US Government has managed to screw up everything that we gave them to control. Yes, some private businesses can do the same, but at least there is some action people can take against them (protests, boycotts, etc), there is nothing short of revolution that can be done against a tyrannical government.

man (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227583)

government is YOURS.

DEMAND otherwise.

Re:man (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227635)

Not in the USA. Government is either the Republicans or the Democrats, never yours. A vote for a third party is a vote thrown away. A vote for one of the two major parties is a vote for whatever lobbyist pays them the most money. Democracy is only an illusion in the USA or any two party system. Mix that with a public who will only vote for one of the two parties (either will never vote republican or will never vote democrat), will only vote for who their union says, will only vote based on some characteristic (for example voting for McCain because he was in the army, or voting for Obama because hes black), and the rest basically vote for a single issue (for example voting for someone only because they are for gay marriage or voting for someone because they oppose abortion). Add that public with a media that barely touches third-party candidates and you have a recipe for collapse.

The US government is not my government, it isn't your government, it is the lobbyists, the media and the politicians government.

Re:shut up with the 'inefficient government' sh@t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227503)

We shall see. This will end up costing $144 billion. It will be content filtered. As it nears reality (in 2012) it will put and end to any private development of broadband in the US.

I demand my "right" to broadband!!!1

What a load of crap (1)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227619)

Yeah, Europe's in such great shape that plenty of them still come here for good and timely medical care.

I guess I'm not quite sure how you're blaming the private sector entirely for "healthcare" and "credit crisis". I'll put the blame squarely on government intervention for both. Government for pushing HMOs, mandating insurance that operates as collectivism rather than insurance, allowing lawyers to run roughshod over the medical industry, and empowering bureacrats over doctors. As for the credit crisis, I don't look much farther than the Federal Reserve manipulating the money supply to encourage speculative and risky investments.

The free market works great, we just wouldn't know, we don't have one. We're regulated to death, but people are so blind, they call for MORE regulation by the very idiots that caused these problems.

Errr... (0, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227305)

Wow Obama, you've screwed up more than I thought you would have. If there is something we have learned about government, big businesses and technology is they don't mix. Just look at the old AT&T, the government gave them money and allowed them to "modernize" the USA and then proceed to abuse their monopoly. Then take that same thing and do it to "connect" the USA, and we now have ISPs that are abusive monopolies. Now we are going to do that again to "better connect" the USA and we are going to either end up in FCC tyrannical censorship land, or more than likely into yet another economy-damaging, money-wasting, taxpayer-funded monopoly.

Re:Errr... (3, Insightful)

BitHive (578094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227475)

Clearly the solution is to not attempt to regulate anything. After all, if there's anything we have learned from free market fundamentalists it's that businesses will never risk wrongdoing because the market won't allow it!

If for some reason a business turns out to have completely betrayed the public trust, then government is always at fault.

Re:Errr... (5, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227477)

Could it just be possible that it isn't whether it's "government" or "a corporation" or a "public-private partnership" that makes the difference between well-done and corrupt, but the vision and integrity of the people carrying out the project? If Obama's people have the integrity to go with their vision, and if their vision is better than the crippled mess that private industry has largely made of the Internet - which after all started as a government project - then let them have it. Yet Obama himself has stated that in the longer term he thinks private industry can provide better management of most enterprises than government can. That may be true, if we first jail many of the crooks who have controlled private industry over the last decade, confiscate their ill-gotten fortunes, and bring in a fresh, ethically-educated generation to run our businesses.

It's the quality of the people who make the quality of the world. Whether they organize themselves into "governments" or "corporations" or "anarcho-syndicates" to pursue their goals is totally secondary to the essential matter of who's doing it. It's like arguing whether four-piece rock bands or small jazz orchestras make the better music. It's not the size or shape of the organization that determines quality, but who the people are, whether they share the right feeling, and have drive and competence.


Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227567)

it isn't whether it's "government" or "a corporation" or a "public-private partnership" that makes the difference between well-done and corrupt, but the vision and integrity of the people carrying out the project A-fucking-men. How many of you chicken littles afraid of everything "gubbermint" also believe that it should be by, of, and for the people? If you don't trust people and would prefer to be indentured to a privately owned plantation because at least you won't have to trust the landlord then say so, don't scapegoat government.

Re:Errr... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227609)

If Obama's people have the integrity to go with their vision, and if their vision is better than the crippled mess that private industry has largely made of the Internet - which after all started as a government project - then let them have it.

But if you look at the US Government in the past, they never have the integrity to go with their vision. If the *AA decides to give say, 1.5 million dollars to whatever politicians will support mandatory BT filtering to look for "infringing" content to give to the *AA, most politicians will join on the bandwagon and go for that, regardless of what Obama/McCain/The public/China/whoever wants.

It's the quality of the people who make the quality of the world. Whether they organize themselves into "governments" or "corporations" or "anarcho-syndicates" to pursue their goals is totally secondary to the essential matter of who's doing it

...And if you have been paying attention for the last 50 years you come to the swift conclusion that the government isn't the people who should be doing it.

Sure, Obama wants change. But in a 2 party system, you are never going to get real change. Congress is largely made up of older people who oppose any form of change, a president who wants change will not get it unless congress wants change. If a president doesn't want change but congress does, change will happen. Obama is basically powerless, he has to bend to the wishes of the democratic party, lobbyists, congress and many more people before he listens to his own ideas or the ideas of the citizens of the USA.

Awesome tagging (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227319)

Somebody really tagged this with "story"?

hell (0)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227323)

if Obama even delivers 1% of all that was promised, we might see some change

here in ireland we had the current government get re-elected on a "alot done, more to do" slogan, i can see this crowd doing the same come 2012

Re:hell (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227355)

...A change towards 1984 perhaps. Look, if the government owns the US portion of the internet, how long before FCC-mandated censorship (read as tyranny) comes to the internet. No doubt this will also harm American innovation because the *AA will be able to have access to all the logs they want and keep proclaiming that if we don't stop filesharers and don't extend copyright to life + 300 years Hollywood is going to stop making movies and you will see Hannah Montana in line at the soup kitchen. Obama's heart is in the right place, but honestly, most of his policies are just going to screw up America in the long run but in the short run he might get us out of the current recession, such as this current broadband plan. On paper it sounds wonderful, everyone having T1 connections to the 'net and innovation prospers and everything turns out good, but in practice, this is only going to screw up the economy with yet another monopoly/reign of terror by the FCC/*AA.

New World Order Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227367)

With all this talk about regulation of internet and censorship, do we want government issued internet?

Screw these clowns. Lets run the network ourselves, like back in the good old days.

Lets fire up fidonet and run private networks in our individual communities. Design it from the bottom up to be decentralized.

Everyone go get the film "The Road to Tryanny"

Re:New World Order Alert (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227385)

Yeah right The reptilian race is on the move again [] now with universal broadband.

You NWO conspiracy theorists really crack me up, lizard people who can shape shift to look like human beings are behind the New World Order and they live in Hollow Earth.

unexpected turn of events (2, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227427)

So does this mean Obama just became a target for Sarah Conner and company? Whose side is Arnold going to be on this time?

Turns government on its head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227511)

The funny thing is, if government can bring internet to all the people, this will enable internet to replace the government. []

On top of the 200 billion (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227565)

How about instead of spending new tax dollars he makes the telcos own up to the favors they were already handed??

Thank God! (0, Troll)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227573)

Oh, whew, it's about time we can have broadband access run with all the competence and efficiency of a government program!

Re:Thank God! (1)

burning-toast (925667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227663)

Is (service provider of choice) doing a better job? At least with government we might have a chance to find out where that $200b went to.

After all, would we be even having this conversation at all if private industry held up their end of the deal?

Is YOUR broadband cheap, fast, and available everywhere (compared globally)? I know mine is not.

- Toast

P.S. I look at the way water and roads are handled. And I fail to see a system worse off now compared to when private industry would have controlled it.

end game (0, Troll)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227645)

Considering science, math (and computers) are not on the minds of the average American. And p0rn, celebrity gossip, and consumer electronics are...


We'll see how useful having a 40Bil network is...

  • as a tool to socialize?
  • as a tool to entertain?
  • as a tool for learning?
  • as a repository, i.e. what the intraweb was in the early 90's
  • as a tool to communicate (exploited by the telcos)?
  • as a productive tool exploited by businesses?
  • as a productive tool exploited for personal use (all the above)?
  • as a productive tool exploited for gov't?

Knowing the federal gov't, which never creates nor maintains, BUT exploits. It may look good on paper, I have a bad feeling about this.

Socialism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227655)

Wow. Because the market does not already drive demand for internet? Reallocate the wealth?

You Americans are turning into card-carrying-commies faster than you realise.

Be sure to forfeit your guns for food vouchers somewhere.

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