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New US Broadband Projects Get $795 Million In Funding

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the take-that-finland dept.

Networking 174

snydeq writes "The Obama administration has announced nearly $795 million in grants and loans to 66 new broadband projects across the nation. The subsidies — to be doled out by the US NTIA and the US Rural Utilities Service — will bring broadband service to 685,000 businesses, 900 health-care facilities, and 2,400 schools, according to officials. The NTIA will award $404 million to 29 projects, and the grants will finance 6,000 miles of new fiber-optic lines. Most of the money will finance middle-mile broadband network projects. The RUS will award $390.9 million, with $163 million in loans and the rest in grants. Most of the RUS money is focused on last-mile broadband projects."

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174 comments

So how much of this will the telcos steal? (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32778806)

How much of this will end up in the pockets of a telco exec and leave us with nothing to show for it?

You know like every other time we have given these bastards a dime.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (3, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 4 years ago | (#32778844)

Nearly all of it. That is the way the corruptocracy works.

Any penalties for failure to meet goals? (4, Interesting)

kcbnac (854015) | about 4 years ago | (#32778924)

Is there any penalty for the telcos (such that they have to pay this money back, with penalties) if they fail to meet the goals this time around?

Last time we gave them money we didn't get what we paid for, and they just shrugged their shoulders.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... and I'm tempted to steal a quote from someone else.

"It's Tuesday, get a rope!"

Re:Any penalties for failure to meet goals? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#32779034)

Is there any penalty for the telcos (such that they have to pay this money back, with penalties) if they fail to meet the goals this time around?

Well you'd only know that afterwards, so it'd be ex post facto legislation, which we all know is not only unconstitutional (except where it's aimed at limeys) but violates the fifth, eighth and nineteenth laws of thermodynamics. Also, wookies.

Re:Any penalties for failure to meet goals? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#32779172)

I assume that whole thing was a joke, but you do know its only ex post facto legislation if the legislation is created after the failure, right? The government is capable of writing legislation with performance penalties.

Re:Any penalties for failure to meet goals? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 4 years ago | (#32779330)

Not necessarily. When we give them the money, we can say, "You must meet these requirements in such and such time frame, otherwise you will repay the money and have these penalties."

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (5, Insightful)

boneclinkz (1284458) | about 4 years ago | (#32778928)

You know like every other time we have given these bastards a dime.

Seriously. I'm reminded of a pithy quote about the definition of "insanity."

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1, Troll)

ffejie (779512) | about 4 years ago | (#32778956)

Yeah, like the time you gave them $40/month and all you got was an unlimited internet connection, just like they promised? The audacity of those guys!

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779146)

,No they promised unlimited but meant 250GB/month.

So add liars to the list.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32779434)

,No they promised unlimited but meant 250GB/month.

So add liars to the list.

I'm still not sure how this is dishonest. Have you ever brought a dumptruck to an 'all you can eat' buffet and proceeded to fill the back of it?

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779488)

Nope, I normally do not eat with a dumptruck. Unlimited would mean I could soak my connection 24/7. I have never been tossed out of an all you can eat buffet for eating all I could eat.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32779556)

But nowhere in the description does it say, 'all you can eat without bringing a dumptruck'.

I think you get my point.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779662)

No, I do not.
A dump truck is not a normal eating utensil.
Unlimited normally does however mean what I thought it would mean. Unlimited would mean you can use it unlimited up to the maximum for the whole period of use, 1 month. 250GB can be reached on my connection in less than 1 month.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32780144)

Again, in the buffet scenario you're totally comfortable with 'normal' but in the bandwidth area you're not. This is a classic double standard.

'Unlimited' is a loose word used to mean something similar to 'all you can eat'. You can believe that in one context words must be exact and in others it isn't required, but it simply isn't fair to do so.

In short, 'Limited in such a way that most people will be satisfied' is roughly the same as 'all you can eat in one sitting'.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779784)

You're trying to make a point, but it's completely off-base.

The bandwidth on offer was specifically marketed to lead the customer to believe that they could eat with your dump truck. It wasn't until later on, once their connection was severed or they received a warning letter from their ISP, that when %ISP% said 'dump truck', they were speaking specifically of the Tonka variety.

This is more akin to being lead out of the buffet by your ear once you reach for your third serving.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32780190)

Well, maybe, but probably not. Only very specific use-cases would attain those bandwidth caps.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 4 years ago | (#32780404)

I think that's the worst fucking analogy I've ever seen. You're comparing bringing a dump truck to a buffet to using more than 250GB/mo? That's using approximately 100KB/s for a month. Thats 4% of my total maximum download speed. So, what you're saying is, using less than five percent of my connection for an entire month is equivilent to bringing a dump truck to a buffet?

I've got an analogy for you. That's like using a fucking THIMBLE at a buffet instead of a plate. You're either ignorant or dishonest, take your pick.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#32779906)

No, but the buffet was marketed as 'all you can eat' not 'all you can take away'. If it's advertised as unlimited, then it should have no limits. Now, I think a 250GB/month cap is, at current usage levels, pretty reasonable. It's enough, for example, to stream 5 hours of video at iPlayer's HD quality every day. I'm a fairly heavy Internet user, but I don't come close to the limit. If they'd advertised 250GB, that would have been fine. Advertising unlimited but providing 250GB is dishonest.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32780230)

'All you can eat in one sitting', not 'all you can eat in a lifetime'.

It does take some really specific use-cases to reach the cap. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, to be sure, that they hadn't considered providing that much service to those select people when they wrote up their marketing materials.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779760)

Yeah but the Unlimited contract also says they can change the terms whenever they feel like it (such as imposing a 250 GB limit). If you don't like the new terms, cancel the contract.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779800)

Seems more likely those sort of contract terms are unconscionable.

I would prefer they just did not attempt to lie in the first place. You can call it marketing or advertising, but I call it like I see it lying. We can teach little kids not to do it, but not rich assholes for some reason.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

Flamora (877499) | about 4 years ago | (#32779960)

Cancel the contract and go with who, precisely? Many areas in the US are under, at best, a duopoly when it comes to high-speed options. If both of your options have clauses in their contracts that you don't agree with (i.e. bandwidth limitations in spite of "unlimited" claims), what's your recourse?

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (3, Funny)

s73v3r (963317) | about 4 years ago | (#32779342)

And I even got free traffic shaping too!

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#32779370)

Yeah, like the time you gave them $40/month and all you got was an unlimited internet connection, just like they promised? The audacity of those guys!

Has anybody else noticed that a lot of posts on Slashdot are made with absolutely no memory of events more than 4 months old?

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#32779934)

There are actually only five people left on Slashdot. The other posters have been replaced by Markov chains. It's part of Google's plan to take over the world.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32778962)

I really wish people would stop spreading this myth.

It's as bad as those who keep repeating the "Betamax lost because it wouldn't allow porn" myth (holds up copy of Playboy on betamax). If you actually read the 1996 Telecommunications Act the money was allocated for upgrades to fiber -or- upgrades of poor quality telephone lines to 56k -or- upgrades quality (which was considered damn fast compared to the 14k modems most people at the time were using). The 56k upgrade from analog-to-digital telephones is where most companies chose to spend the cash. If you think that was a mistake, well then blame the 1996 Congress who wrote a poor law.

This act was somewhat similar to the "100,000 New Cops" that Clinton used to brag about. It sounds great until you read the actual bill, which allowed the money to be spent on cops -or- cop equivalents (computers, radios, et cetera). Most police departments used the money to buy new gadgets not actual cops.

AS FOR NOW: I was wondering where the money would come from: "In the Recovery Act, Congress allocated $7.2 billion to the NTIA and RUS for broadband grants and loans." In other words this new project was passed over a year ago but its only getting spent during the next few months. I wonder why they waited so long to act?

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 years ago | (#32779176)

Because Congress set it up that way. Congress wanted people to forget that they passed that massive spending bill before the elections this fall and they wanted the economic stimulus that they expected from it to kick in just before the elections. Of course neither of those things worked out for them.

For that matter (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#32780054)

You can argue in 1996, fixing line quality was the right thing to do. Broadband technologies were still in their infancy, vanishingly few people had them. Most people were on dialup. What would show them the biggest benefit? Fixing the phone lines. That would show an immediate increase, and using a proven technology.

While it is nice to talk up future technologies, you have no idea how that'll pan out.

Re:For that matter (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32780132)

In 1996 running voice over fiber was not impossible. Expensive yes, impossible no. It sure looks like it would have given the most benefit, if that is all you optimize for.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (2, Informative)

Rivalz (1431453) | about 4 years ago | (#32778988)

Man don't be so cynical.
See Article http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Broadband_Award_Roster.pdf [whitehouse.gov]

The first grant is just for 5.2 million for 60 people and 20 businesses.
At 50$ per person per month and 150$ per business a month that is just a around $72,000 Per year of revenue for the 5.2 million dollars expense.

Who says Democrats don't know how to properly allocate funds. How I missed the boat on this free money has me needing some serious therapy. Do we have free health care for that yet? :)

Copper Valley Telephone
Cooperative Incorporated
AK This $5.2 million grant/loan middle mile project will allow Cooper Valley Telephone Coop. to extend terrestrial wireless broadband connectivity to
McCarthy, AK. When complete, the project will offer upgraded service to more than 60 Alaskans and nearly 20 local businesses and other
community institutions that currently can only subscribe to satellite service. The project will include significant non-federal investment. Beyond
the jobs it creates upfront, the project will open McCarthy to future economic and business development.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779186)

5.2 million for 60 folks?

Tell the fuckers to move.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

iamsolidsnk (862065) | about 4 years ago | (#32779256)

Or get satellite internet.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779798)

>>>5.2 million for 60 folks?

Or forget the expensive fiber and upgrade the existing phone lines to DSL instead. Or existing cable lines to Cable Internet instead. That could be done for less than 0.1 million

But politicians don't understand the concept of choosing cheaper options to save money. They just spend regardless of cost

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (1)

lousyd (459028) | about 4 years ago | (#32779540)

It's already stolen money. I'd kind of like to have back the $80 they took last paycheck.

Re:So how much of this will the telcos steal? (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779676)

Taxes are how you pay for civilization. It is not stolen money. Grow up or move to Somalia.

Public funding, private profit? (3, Interesting)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | about 4 years ago | (#32778840)

So... $800 million. Alright. How does that compare to profits major telecoms acquired since they got their first boost in the 90s?

Re:Public funding, private profit? (3, Insightful)

gewalker (57809) | about 4 years ago | (#32779132)

On the plus side, it is expected to "create or save" about 5000 jobs (a mere $160.000) -- Hard to guess how many "bogus" saved jobs are in this accounting.

On the minus side, it is guaranteed to take (theft when not done by the government) the entire income of about 16,000 workers in order to support pay for this.

When are we going to break this cycle of stupidity. And yes, this is probably better than a lot of government spending.


There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.
Frederic Bastiat - What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen

Re:Public funding, private profit? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#32779188)

The US is currently on schedule to default on its debt for the first time in 2026. I would be pretty confident about the cycle of stupidity ending at that point, because we'll be in Greece's situation, and their government has successfully been forced to stop their cycle of stupidity.

Re:Public funding, private profit? (1)

jjoelc (1589361) | about 4 years ago | (#32779868)

"creating jobs" is easy... Creating productive, long term jobs is the trick.

Hire one guy to make bricks all day. You created a job!

Hire another guy to smash bricks all day. You've created TWO jobs!

Hire another guy to sort the rubble, and prepare it to be recycled by the first guy to make more bricks. You've created THREE GREEN jobs!

Take away the federal money, and all three of them are out of work again, with absolutely nothing to show for all the money spent.

Re:Public funding, private profit? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779974)

Perhaps fixing our roads, bridges and other infrastructure might actually be worth something?

Reduced Broadband Rates? (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | about 4 years ago | (#32778866)

So will there be a way to tax the ISPs or somehow work out a deal so that they can use the fiber in exchange for reducing monthly rates? Or are we simply giving them something for free?

STOP SPENDING (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#32778902)

Great, hundreds of millions more out the door when we are already deeply in the hole as a notion. It's a broadband stimulus package!

You want to help out broadband in the U.S.? Make it illegal for communities to have only single providers of service. That would open the doors to competition and reduce prices for everyone, not just the handful of districts this federal boondoggle will target.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#32778968)

Make it illegal for communities to have only single providers of service.

How does this work exactly?

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#32779076)

It would work exactly like this:
No government agency (city, county, state) is allowed to enter into any exclusivity agreement for provenance of communications systems.

Even better, but unrealistic, all existing exclusivity arrangements could be broken.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779198)

The US does not have that power to dictate what local governments can or can not do, but the Member States might have the power.

For example in Maryland the government runs virtually everything so they could easily outlaw cable and telephone monopolies at the local level. Or: They might try what they did with BGE, where BGE maintains ownership of the pipes/wires, but require that customers have choice from multiple sources.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#32779398)

Congress might be able to argue that any such contract with an operator doing business in multiple states is void. But I'm sure it would go to court.

Congress definitely has the power to hand out those funds only to states with such a law in place.

But in any case, its all a moot argument, nothing is ever going to get better in this area.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32779526)

Okay then, try this:

No government agency (city, county, state) who has entered into any exclusivity agreement for provenance of communications systems shall receive Federal funding of any kind.

Better?

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779838)

The Supreme Court has already ruled, multiple times, that it's not acceptable to punish states by saying "no" federal funding "of any kind".

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#32780212)

ORLY?

Under which part of the Constitution?

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32780222)

So make it no federal money for telco stuff or something vaguely related.

Re:STOP SPENDING (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779244)

Simple law
No cable(wire, fiber) plant owner may operate an ISP nor video nor phone service provider or vice versa. All cable plant owners must provide access on a non-discriminatory basis.

Re:STOP SPENDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32778970)

Yeah, bring back Reagan so we can triple the debt again!

And don't forget about socialist corporate welfare, oops, I mean, supply side economics.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | about 4 years ago | (#32779490)

Why bring Reagan back when Obama is outpacing even the worst of them as far as increasing the debt? 3 trillion in debt added in the 16 months (Jan 2009 to May 2010, CBO) Obama has been President, a new record! And, the *good thing* is that....he still has about 30 more months to go! Let's give it up for our Debtor in Chief, whoo! /golf clap

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#32779074)

I'm not a fan of monopolies or anything, however if not for monopolies on "public utilities", then you'd have to have multiple runs of cable (impractical and physically destructive), or companies would have to allow other companies to use their infrastructure but then charge them for it. Seems to me, this would likely limit the incentive for expand infrastructure (the leasing fee for the second provider likely wouldn't make up the difference lost in access charges to the end user, otherwise the second company. If it did, the second company would have to be more expensive than the first to make a profit, and then they wouldn't get any customers). After Ma Bell got broken up, we started to get deluged with advertisements for crappy, second-rate phone services, and infrastructure hasn't really expanded to keep up with increased demand. Otherwise, we wouldn't even be having this thread because this would be a solved issue, but it's clearly not. It would probably make more sense to just force the carriers to expand their infrastructure and make them pay for it with their own money, not public funds. They already got public funds to expand before, and did a half-assed job of it. They owe us.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#32779214)

There isn't really a big problem with multiple physical runs. Some communities do it, and when it happens, it seems to work out really, really well for them.

Worked for me (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#32779358)

I'm not a fan of monopolies or anything, however if not for monopolies on "public utilities", then you'd have to have multiple runs of cable (impractical and physically destructive)

Actually it's not that destructive when you are talking last-mile solutions.

As an example, I used to live in a small community that had Comcast cable. We had a small provider come in, Wide Open West, that had fiber to the curb - the last few hundred feet was coax, delivered side by side with the traditional cable and then at my house one cable attachment replaced the other.

The benefit? I got a 100Mb/s internet feed - that was up and down, about 10x faster than Comcast internet and a 20-30x faster uplink. And it was ten years ago...

The practical reality is that you're not going to have a handful of providers running cable or wires to your house, because if there's more than three people competing for service it doesn't make as much economic sense to have a fourth come in since there's already competition lowering prices. And if any of them fold other companies can come along and make use of the infrastructure. It doesn't mean your neighborhood will look like pre-switch NYC with cables clouding the sky...

If you're wondering what happened to WOW, they got bought out and that was the end of THOSE shenanigans, offering cheap fast internet was simply not allowable.

Re:STOP SPENDING (1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779368)

>>>you'd have to have multiple runs of cable (impractical and physically destructive)

Yeah because a 50-fiber bundle (1 fiber per cable/internet company) really takes up a lot of room. A whole 2 cm in diameter. /end sarcasm. But seriously: The logical course would to have this 50-fiber bundle run under every city street and owned by the government. Then lease 1 fiber to Comcast, 1 to Cox, 1 to Time-Warner, 1 to GoogleTV, and so on. Then, at last, we would have a pro-choice solution for customers.

As for the Ma Bell Breakup, I saw long distance calls drop from $1.40 when they had a monopoly to just 5 cents (2010 dollars).

The breakup also allowed for a boom in modem development, where you were no longer tied to Bell's approved 300/1200 modems (available for 30 years and never advanced). Instead you could buy experimental ~19k models from Cardinal or Rockwell or whoever. Competition spurred innovation and very rapid progress (from 1200 to 56000 in just ten years).

Re:STOP SPENDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779150)

Make it illegal for communities to have only single providers of service

Nothing stopping other people from moving in, they just have to negotiate with the landowners for access rights rather than getting the government to hand it to them.

Or maybe the fact that a truly unsubsidized network would probably cost on the order of trillions of dollars is stopping them?

Seems Like New Age Rural Telephone Initiative (3, Interesting)

Winchestershire (1495475) | about 4 years ago | (#32778942)

I grew up on a farm in a rural community. Up until last year, my family only had access to 56k (at best) dial up service, now they have a 1MB cable service. I really would love to see all citizens in the US be able to access high speed internet but I understand how high those costs are. Personally, I'd like to see more work done in rural areas utilizing wireless broadband. Similar to the speed of the rise of cell phones in modern society. High speed internet isn't the luxury it once was. In many ways, it has become a lifeblood for a new US and a new global economy. The only problem I have is how are they going to track this money to make sure it doesn't go to line the pockets of telecos.

Re:Seems Like New Age Rural Telephone Initiative (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779426)

but why did you bang your sister every night?

Re:Seems Like New Age Rural Telephone Initiative (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | about 4 years ago | (#32779496)

Personally, I'd like to see more work done in rural areas utilizing wireless broadband.

This already exists; its called satellite. While it is not as good as cable, it is a far cry better than dial-up, and it wont cost hundreds of millions of dollars to roll out to a group of people who typically take pride in their technophobia.

Re:Seems Like New Age Rural Telephone Initiative (1)

Jammer6502 (1430197) | about 4 years ago | (#32779854)

While this would be fine for a household, satellite internet has such limited download/upload bandwidth it would be next to worthless for business or school applications that are the focus of this money. Plus, the latency makes gaming a real challenge!

RUS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32778946)

Most of the RUS money is focused on last-mile broadband projects

Rodents of unusual size? I didn't even know they had funding!

Captcha: pedant

Re:RUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32780326)

Rodents of unusual size are ROUS's, not RUS's.

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32778976)

Group of companies: Where are the millions you promised us?
Government: 404? Not found!

New Deal 2K10 (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 4 years ago | (#32778982)

From TFA:

The top goal for the grants and loans "is to put Americans back to work immediately, managing projects, digging the trenches, laying fiber-optic cable, and stringing up those utility poles," said Gary Locke, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the parent agency of the NTIA.

I thought that the New Deal actually worsened the pre-WWII economic situation in retrospect. Not sure why this seems like a good idea now.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779144)

You heard that from idiots who want to drag the legacy of one of our greatest Presidents through the mud because reality doesn't match their economic model.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | about 4 years ago | (#32779544)

FDR was hardly "...one of our greatest Presidents..." by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, the complete opposite of "greatest", ranked right down there with Carter.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779710)

What was wrong with carter?
He might have been not that great, but no where near as bad as say hoover.

He did not sell out the working man like your hero Reagan?

Re:New Deal 2K10 (4, Insightful)

gewalker (57809) | about 4 years ago | (#32780270)

The real trick is trying to figure out any policy difference between Hoover & FDR. An honest look at history (including several of FDR's advisor) admit the new deal was largely a continuation of the policies started by Hoover. FDR himself said that he would have voted for Hoover had he not gotten the nomination.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 years ago | (#32779224)

Yeah right. The tens of thousands of people who would otherwise have starved beg to differ. And we're still living off much of the infrastructure they built.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779552)

Necessity is the mother of all invention.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (1)

jjoelc (1589361) | about 4 years ago | (#32780078)

Like social security? Yeah.. we all know THAT's going well!

Not to discount a lot of the work they did.. I live within spitting distance of Hoover Dam. There are a lot of lasting works started in, if not completed during the new deal.

It didn't do too terribly much in the short term. And no matter what either side argues, nobody knows whether it would have eventually played out as fixing the economy or tanking it, because WWII came along and put all of us to work. (off-topic, but that fact is partly responsible for the theory that the government intentionally ignored warnings and intelligence about the attack on pearl harbor. They needed the attack to happen to justify the policy change of joining in the war... but that is another topic entirely!)

Re:New Deal 2K10 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32780254)

hmm?
It is going quite well, in fact even by the time I retire it is expected to pay out 75% of the amount I should get if we do nothing. If we up the retirement age like we should do, it will be paying out 100%.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 years ago | (#32780434)

Like social security? Yeah.. we all know THAT's going well!

It is working about as well as anything could. Poverty among the elderly has plummeted compared to before it was instituted.

People are living longer and having fewer children. No amount of accounting can change that ultimate fact. Not even a high savings rate among workers for later retirement could magically overcome a lower producer/consumer ratio; that would just result in wage inflation as elderly people with big bank accounts compete for the services of a relatively small workforce.

If social security deserves any blame, it is for reducing the financial incentive to have children (because they're you're personal retirement plan) but do we really want to go back to that? Sooner or later the population has to level off, and people have to accept they're not going to have decades of able-bodied late-life idleness like the WWII generation did. That was a fluke of the exploding postwar population and US economic world dominance caused the decimation of our economic competitors in world wars.

Re:New Deal 2K10 (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#32780366)

Bah! Who needs infrastructure? See this balance sheet I have here? See this 'infrastructure maintenance' item? That's a cost, not an income item - no point in it. Remove it, next quarter's profit will go up and I'll get a much bigger bonus.

A small but vocal minority would agree with you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779476)

Because conservatives oppose the ideas of the New Deal on principle, a lot of Conservatives have attempted to make that argument. However, very few historians and only about a quarter of economists feel that way. When you consider that Economics is one of the great bastions of conservative academic thought... it's not a particularly convincing statistic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_deal#Prolonged.2Fworsened_the_Depression

Also, what timeOday said.

I hope... (2, Interesting)

Facegarden (967477) | about 4 years ago | (#32779000)

I hope that this will affect us somehow.

I work in Silicon Valley, right by two major freeways (880 and 101... so not far out there) and just a couple miles from Cisco, and the best normal service we have is crappy AT&T DSL at 2Mbps down and 0.4 Mbps up.

Meanwhile, 5 minutes away, at my home, I have a 30Mb down 10Mb up connection.

I would like to be able to VPN into work without it crawling along, or without us having to shell out something expensive for business class service. We don't need guaranteed uptime or anything fancy, just a faster connection for day to day stuff.

There have been times where I've driven home to download a 3GB file because it was faster than waiting for it to happen at work.

I will be thrilled when >10Mbit broadband becomes the standard.

-Taylor

Re:I hope... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779420)

>>>the best normal service we have is crappy AT&T DSL at 2Mbps down and 0.4 Mbps up.

They don't have faster speeds? My Verizon DSL offers 12 Mbit/s, and it's cheaper than Comcast's equivalent service.

Re:I hope... (1)

Facegarden (967477) | about 4 years ago | (#32779656)

I've checked before for Comcast Cable and AT&T's Fiber service. Neither are available here.

Double-checking on DSL options; for residential they offer "Up to 6Mbps down, 768Kbps up" for $24.99, but for business the best they offer is:

"For bandwidth-intensive applications
Downstream Speed: Up to 3.0 Mbps
Upstream Speed: Up to 512 Kbps"

And it's $40 a month. That must be what we have, and it's a f'ing joke.

I've lived in 3 places in the area in the last couple years and I had fiber or cable at 10Mbps, 24Mbps, and now 30Mbps, all with a few Mbps upload minimum, and I can't even get a Meg up at our business, in a location where there are plenty other businesses? In Silicon Valley?

This is a joke.

My mom lives out in the Santa Cruz mountains, off the beaten path, where there are problems with mountain lions thats how far out she is, and her service is faster.

There needs to be more focus on penetration. 30Mbps is great for me at home an all that, but I'd be fine with 10Mbps if that meant they were expanding availability, not just cranking up the speed to people that are already doing fine.
-Taylor

Re:I hope... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779848)

So get a bunch of those plans and a decent router.

Or pay for business service.

Jobs (1)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#32779010)

And if the chorus of idiots will realize that this is the best and quickest way of creating jobs, maybe the American economy would have a chance if they could just shut up for 10 minutes.

Our WWII spending brought us to 120% of GDP for our national debt, but it only worked out in the end because it gave all sectors of the economy a living wage, practically creating the middle class. (That and Patriotism back in those days included paying taxes and buying War Bonds.) Double points if those jobs improve American infrastructure and make our economy more efficient at using resources.

Coincidentally, this is the way every successful business operates. You borrow money to invest in capital, and pay it back with the benefits that capital brings you.

If the continued destruction of the middle class isn't ended, and progressive taxes are never brought back, we're going to end up with an income distribution that looks like a third world country. It's going to be tough to sell products a bunch of people who are barely making ends meet, but I guess if you've already got money, at least that second gardner came at half the price.

Re:Jobs (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779354)

You think spending 5.2 million to get 60 Alaskans Internet access is worth it?

It might be cheaper to relocate them.

Re:Jobs (1)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#32779440)

Well, they cost far less than 60 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. And they'll have internet access for the rest of their lives instead of just a year.

Assuming you're not just full of shit, which you probably are.

Re:Jobs (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779604)

Afghanistan is a pointless war I agree, lets save some money by ending that too, Iraq as well. I still fail to see what that has to do with this current waste of money.

For $86k per head we might just be able to give them totally free satellite Internet for life.

Re:Jobs (1)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#32780378)

The point being you have to focus on beating your crack addiction before you think about paying down your credit cards.

Re:Jobs (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#32780420)

It might be. That works out at $100,000 per person. If the infrastructure improves their productivity and they pay an average of $5,000 more income tax over the next twenty years as a result, it breaks even (ignoring inflation). If the population grows, if some of the businesses in the area hire more people, and so on, then it's possible that it will produce more than $5.2 million in tax revenue in total.

Re:Jobs (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779516)

>>>Our WWII spending brought us to 120% of GDP for our national debt,

Yes and when WW2 was over (1945), the Depression snapped right back and people were jobless again. The stock market and GDP did not return to 1928 levels until the early 1950s. So basically all the spending for WW2 cured nothing.

Also there's nothing productive about a war, which is basically equivalent to building a bunch of products and then blowing them up. A war is *destructive* not productive. It wastes resources and money and labor hours. It's the Glazier Paradox - smashing windows just to make work. It would be wiser not to smash the windows in the first place.

Similarly throwing a bunch of money at fiber installs, without considering whether the market will use them, or whether they will just sit unused (dark fiber) is about the same as building a bunch of bridges that lead to nowhere (don't connect to roads). That too is a waste.

Cue the facts! (3, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#32780286)

Honestly, assertions are my favorite. It makes arguments so easy to win.

Yes and when WW2 was over (1945), the Depression snapped right back and people were jobless again.

No, unemployment rates stayed low and and GDP did not drop. So the real question is, are you purposefully ignorant or just being a troll?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Us_unemployment_rates_1950_2005.png [wikipedia.org]
http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=230 [data360.org]

Also there's nothing productive about a war, which is basically equivalent to building a bunch of products and then blowing them up. A war is *destructive* not productive. It wastes resources and money and labor hours. It's the Glazier Paradox - smashing windows just to make work. It would be wiser not to smash the windows in the first place.

War is enormously profitable for the winning country, especially when you get to control precious resources as a result. The Glazier Paradox does not apply - we were smashing millions of dollars of weapons into things we didn't repair with our own money. WWII involved a lot of nation building, and our workers provided the manufacturing for most of the planet since Europe and Japan were in pieces. (Not that I agree this is the way to come out of the recession, but it is important to remember history amid your vague rhetoric involving paradoxes.)

Similarly throwing a bunch of money at fiber installs, without considering whether the market will use them, or whether they will just sit unused (dark fiber) is about the same as building a bunch of bridges that lead to nowhere (don't connect to roads). That too is a waste.

Mass transit and communications infrastructure are investments in the future. Even if it there's a bit of waste here and there, it beats giving it to the financial industry, who do nothing useful for the economy at large.

This is the purpose of government. Keep the economic machine running by ignoring the rules when they stop working. Keep income equality high so there's meritocracy instead of aristocracy. Enforce policies to make sure that the economy is well educated and capable of performing complex functions to yield good results for investment.

The relative power of federal, state, and local governments is something that can be argued, but the larger point still remains.

Re:Jobs (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32779574)

P.S.

>>>If the continued destruction of the middle class isn't ended

It's the growing national debt (from 10.5 trillion to 13 trillion just since Bush left office) that will destroy the middle class. That's the equivalent of $130,000 owed by each American home. This nonstop spending is causing us to self-destruct (like Greece).

Re:Jobs (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 4 years ago | (#32779692)

We've got nowhere near the Greece level of debt problems, at least not in the near term. None of the actions of the global market show any signs of worry bout US debt, they're more than happy to lend the government money. National debt reduction right now should not be a priority for the US right now, the federal government's debt is not the cause of our current economic problems.

But if you really want to complain about the debt, a huge chunk of our current deficit has to do with a foolish administration starting two open ended wars, for which they not only didn't raise taxes, but actually continued with their previous plan to cut taxes. The country needs to accept the fact that there's no winning in these two wars, stop spending a bunch of money we don't have on them, and then raise our own taxes to start paying for the past 9 years of fighting that we've already got to deal with.

Re:Jobs (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32779750)

Or maybe we could get the couple percent of americans who actually have all the money to pay their fair share of taxes. No, that would be unamerican.

Re:Jobs (2, Informative)

jnaujok (804613) | about 4 years ago | (#32779994)

The top 1% of earners pay 40.42% of all taxes collected yet earn only 22.83% of the money. The top 10% pay 71.22% of all taxes, yet earn only 48.05% of the wages. The top 50% of earners pay 97.11% of all taxes (Figures from 2007 - the last year for which data is available). It's currently estimated that 47% of the wage earners in America effectively pay no federal income taxes.

Under Bush's "tax cuts for the rich" (2001-2007) the proportion of taxes paid by the richest 10% increased from 67% to 72%, while the proportion paid by the lowest 50% of earners went from 3.91% to 2.89%.

Before labeling people as "un-American" -- please check your data.

See here (all data from tables 1 and 6, which are direct reprints of IRS supplied data). [taxfoundation.org]

Re:Jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32780448)

Without knowing anything about me, what is my "fair share"?

Slush Fund (1)

Airdorn (1094879) | about 4 years ago | (#32779018)

Oh boy, yet another Obama re-election slush fund. I wonder how much of that will actually make it to 'stimulating' broadband access?

Sweet (0, Troll)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#32779408)

There's nothing I love more than "independents" using quotes to pretend they are "thinking" instead of spouting partisan bullshit.

Massholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32779054)

-- Massachusetts Technology Park: This $45.4 million grant, with an additional $26.2 million from the applicant, will lay 1,300 miles of fiber in western Massachusetts. The project will bring broadband to more than 1 million people and 44,000 businesses.

Great give the computer geeks fiber so they can be cocky little guido [wikipedia.org] Massholes too!

project hopes (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about 4 years ago | (#32779400)

I hope this goes as planned another stimulus package that hopefully works. Last 2 have not done that much.

Fixed (3, Insightful)

chucklebutte (921447) | about 4 years ago | (#32779674)

Comcast, Cox, Verizon, AT&T Execs Get $795 Million In Funding.

Fixed your headline free of charge.

Thanks (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about 4 years ago | (#32780164)

795 Million $ for me ? Cool. We only live about 20 minutes outside of Tacoma, WA and we have no internet (cable, DSL or wireless) cell phone hardly work, dont even have cable tv on our street. Just dial up or satellite. We have satellite but its about 80$ a month and goes out several times a day for 2-20 minutes. Also has a daily download limit of 350mb.
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