Biden’s Broadband Boondoggle
In President Biden’s joint address to Congress, he highlighted his promise to improve America’s broadband. Under the American Jobs Plan, all Americans will have access to high-speed internet, including the 35% of rural American’s that still don’t have it. Access to the Internet is essential to our daily lives, and there are tremendous benefits to society if everyone can assume everyone else is online.
But as Doug Brake writes in National Review, Biden’s proposal appears to transform something that is already a dynamic and innovative sector, to something much more like an old-fashioned and stagnant utility. A fundamental question is whether the government should supplement or replace private networks, but it appears as though the Biden administration’s proposal is the latter. America’s broadband system is very competitive, and the proposal would take a direct strike at the competitive system. America needs a program in place that focuses on reaching truly unserved areas.
The choice is not between markets and governments, but rather government can and should support and build on our current successful, private-sector-led broadband model to fill these gaps.