back to article FCC lines up $16 billion for broadband across entire US. Well, except New York because, screw them, right?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is under fire from lawmakers, and one of its own commissioners, for excluding New York State from a $16bn rural broadband fund that is supposed to cover every corner of the US. “This week, the FCC will vote on a proposal to spend $16bn on broadband for rural communities at risk of …

  1. Snake Silver badge

    And I just posted in the Google Drive thread

    that U.S. ISP reliability is a joke. I happen to do so from a N.Y. availability perspective.

    Ah, irony.

  2. IGotOut Silver badge

    USA

    Feel free to vote for your favourite form of corruption at the next elections

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: USA

      So much to vote for and so few votes.

      And not only in the US.

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coat

    New NY Broadband Program

    The New New York Broadband Program. Is that the one run by cats?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: New NY Broadband Program

      Either that or Planet Express.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    "if you build bandwidth, people will happily use it to the fullest"

    Actually, there are now data that shows that broadband in poorer areas is not adopted as fast as many could think - especially when for many the main way to access the internet became their smartphone. Actually to see the advantage of real broadband (from 100Mb/s onward, and especially 1Gb/s) you also need the hardware needed to exploit it, and be able to use and often buy the services that make it useful. When just using Facebook having 15 or 100Mb/s doesn't change much.

    While some less rich people will of course use it to torrent to death - which still needs some hardware investment at least in storage, others won't see much use of such fixed line speeds. In some countries governments are even thinking of offering "vouchers" to get people on broadband - which could be a futile attempt.

    Of course that's different in more affluent areas where households may be used to pay for services like cable or satellite television, and there could be multiple users at the same time with powerful enough hardware - and not a single low-end PC or console probably shared across the whole family.

    I'm not saying broadband should not be delivered to such areas - they need it too - just saying the investment will be repaid in far longer times, and that's something that should be accounted for. That's moreover what most telcos fear - and that's why that has to be deployed using governments funds.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: "if you build bandwidth, people will happily use it to the fullest"

      Actually, there are now data that shows that broadband in poorer areas is not adopted as fast as many could think - especially when for many the main way to access the internet became their smartphone.

      That's one explanation for some outwardly strange behaviour. NY is Verizon country. In the mists of time, Verizon started doing FiOS, so an FTTP service. This made some sense, but also very expensive. But there were some regulatory gamesmanship. NY flooded, lots of copper got damaged, so replace it with fibre.. Which also meant it fell outside FCC regs that might allow competitive access to copper local loop services.

      That helped lead to a bit of an internal coup inside Verizon where their mobile/wireless unit effectively took control and started moving the business away from fixed/wireline services to focusing on mobile. Which made some sense given wireless is less regulated and mobile data lucrative. So FiOS dropped because OTT services meant Verizon paid the cost of FTTP provision, but was restricted in monetising it other than as a 'basic' broadband service.. Which is probably why Verizon wasn't interested in Fed funds to deploy broadband, especially if those funds came with conditions.

      Much simpler to focus on 5G deployment, and an exciting range of data plans, and overage charges.. But such is politics.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: "if you build bandwidth, people will happily use it to the fullest"

      What I pay for broadband internet with the local cable provider is getting so rapacious that I'm thinking of switching to only having cell service. I can add another line with both lines on an unlimited plan (for a certain amount of unlimited) and a mobile hotspot for a bit less than my 3gb phone plan and the cable. The added bonus is I can drag my laptop around and have internet just about everywhere I go. When I'm home, I can plug the phone into the router and use my desktop just like I'm going now.

      The cable company has been increasing my bandwidth every 6 months or so. The problem is that it's just me here and I can't get anywhere close to using it all. I don't stream stuff and all of my media is local. Their one-size-fits-all is several sizes too big.

      There are options for people that are in the middle of nowhere, USA. The Rural Electrification Program isn't a good model to compare with. Part of the problem is that it has never gone away even after the job was one. This new program isn't going to connect very many people and once in place, there may not be any money for maintenance and upgrades later on. Just dead wires connecting dead trees together.

  5. Fred Goldstein

    Or a simpler, if less dramatic, explanation...

    New York got $170M in lieu of participation in CAF II. That was more than it would have gotten had it stayed in. The state program was supposed to reach everywhere. So if it is being followed then there is literally no need for RDOF (CAF III) in NY. RDOF reaches areas that did not get picked up in CAF II and places that are not 25/3. The NY program was supposed to exceed 25/3 everywhere, so again no place in state should be eligible.

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