Biden’s Rural Internet Plan Falls Short After $42 Billion And Three Years

Three years and over $42 billion later, President Joe Biden’s plan to bring high-speed internet to rural America has yet to connect a single home. This delay mirrors his previous promise to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, of which only eight have been constructed nationwide as of last month.

In 2021, the Biden administration secured $42.45 billion from Congress to deploy high-speed internet to millions of Americans through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. However, Brendan Carr, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission, noted that not one person has been connected with those funds. He pointed out that no construction projects are expected to begin until at least 2025.

The BEAD program, administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, aims to provide reliable internet access to underserved locations. Despite the initiative’s goals, excessive bureaucracy and complex review processes have stalled progress. Only nine states and the District of Columbia have received approval for the program so far.

Republican senators have highlighted several issues with the BEAD program, including discrimination against workers, preferential treatment for government-owned networks, and an overall bias against non-fiber projects. These concerns suggest that the program may not achieve its intended outcomes.

Carr also criticized the Biden administration for revoking an $885 million award to Elon Musk’s Starlink, which would have provided high-speed internet to 642,000 rural locations. This decision has further hindered efforts to improve internet connectivity in underserved areas.

It seems Biden’s broadband plan has more buffering issues than a bad internet connection.