On Wed, 9 Aug 2006, David Sovereen wrote:

Since when do the people on this list support taxation, waste, and government subsidies? Why should the burden of providing high-speed Internet to people in underserved (typically rural) areas fall on the shoulders of taxpayers? I don't want my taxes to pay to expand your network or for Joe User to get your service.

There is a reality that you are missing here. The USF was established to do EXACTLY this for rural telephone services. Without USF, telephone services in the rural parts of the country would be unavailable or unreasonably expensive. Like many programs the government dreams up, the USF program is somewhat out of hand (but that's another topic). As for you (Joe Taxpayer) paying to expand another network (or subsidizing Joe User's access) you may not realize this, but you are already doing this in the form of USF $$. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, but it is, none the less, a fact.

In reality, I agree with you to a certain extent. Not entirely, however. I think that any program initiated by the government will eventually be corrupted and be abused. It will, also, grow beyond it's initial intention and never be able to be dropped. SO, why would a bill like this be considered a good thing by a group like this (that is comprised of mostly conservative people)? I think it is partly $$. I believe it is partly due to the understanding that many on this list have that bringing broadband access to certain areas is simply unrealistic due to economic realities.

Broadband access is important to our national economy for a variety of reasons. It is not simply a matter of Joe User's kids chatting with other kids, Joe's wife playing Scrabble online or Joe surfing porn late at night. Broadband access can make a real and measurable difference in a local economy. This is more than just profits for the ISP.

I only hope that if a program such as what is being discussed here is implemented, that it is geared toward making it possible for small providers (or even new startups) to participate. We (the government) should be careful to not create another USF type monster, although that is my fear.

If people want services, they should live in a city. If they want to live in rural areas, they should do so with the understanding that services (water, sewer, EMS, schools, cable, high-speed Internet, just about anything and everything) are harder to come by and sometimes more expensive. No one makes people live in the country. People choose to on their own, and they should take responsibility for the costs and/or lack of services associated with that decision.

I won't even go here.  This is mostly just ridiculous ranting.

--
Butch Evans
Network Engineering and Security Consulting
573-276-2879
http://www.butchevans.com/
Mikrotik Certified Consultant
(http://www.mikrotik.com/consultants.html)
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