Broadband Bullies on the March

Have you heard about the Broadband Bullies? They are people who live out in rural areas and who are charging private-sector internet servers with failing to provide every last person with a high-speed connection. The Bullies have no regard for the huge expense of reaching tiny audiences with miles of expensive cable. Because some people never think about the real cost, but only about their own interests.


So the Bullies purposely move way out into the middle of nowhere then demand that they have everything you would have in Manhattan or Boston.


In Berkshire County, in western Massachusetts, a group called WiredWest, is seeking to have broadband access extended to every home in the largely rural county, including so-called “last mile” lines linking people at the very end of the road to the best fiber-optic internet connection.


This is like back-to-the-landers demanding that utilities give them electric and phone service no matter where they choose to live, and no matter the price tag. This, of course, pushes up the cost to every customer because the overall cost of power lines and phone lines is folded into every customer’s monthly bill.


So these people demand to be served or they will cry all the way to Washington. They never consider how they themselves have caused the problem by moving out to unpopulated areas in the first place.


How about if they took up the cost themselves? Perhaps those who choose to live far away should pay to string their own power lines and phone lines and internet lines. Or will we soon be paying to plow their long driveways too?


Because when they choose to live way out in the countryside, they say they want to “get away” and “not have any neighbors” but instead to exist in their own little Garden of Eden surrounded by the forest. Except that they then want their Garden of Eden to have every convenience that our modern economy has to offer.


In 2009, there was a show on the History Channel called Tougher In Alaska. In one episode, a state trooper drove miles and miles by pickup truck, and then many more miles by snowmobile out into the wilderness to do a routine check on a guy who had chosen to live in a rural cabin way out in the bush.


The guy was fine. But why should the taxpayers of Alaska pick up the tab to have a nanny-state public official check on a resident who purposely chose to live in the wilderness and apparently chose not to have a telephone so that he could be “checked on” with just a phone call?


They should not. Because the expense and time of checking on this guy is very costly and also takes away from public safety elsewhere in Alaska. But soon this recluse probably will probably be demanding broadband for his computer and some liberal judge will grant it.


How are the Broadband Bullies in Massachusetts proceeding?


Well, they now have a plan and that is to spread the cost around to every taxpayer rather than paying it individually. Naturally. Like the good lefties that most of them are.


According to an article in the Berkshire Trade & Commerce newspaper, ‘The basic strategy of WiredWest is for municipalities to jointly create a regional entity to build community-owned, open-access local “fiber-to-the-home” networks that cover all sections of participating municipalities.’


‘The project is intended to enable individual towns to pool their resources on a regional basis… and take on the expense of building such a network without the pressures that private companies face.’


Yeah, right…


First, towns in Massachusetts are financially strapped these days, and many are flat broke, particularly small towns in rural areas. But that doesn’t stop the Broadband Bullies from demanding these hugely expensive new systems.


Second, no benefits will ensue over private companies, but only much higher costs. Because private firms always have done things much more efficiently than governments.


“This is a critical need, and everyone wants to do it as rapidly as possible,” said Monica Webb of WiredWest about the broadband access.


Look at that statement! This philosophy is a recipe for disaster – to move quickly and worry about the cost later on.


“The primary requirement is to build a system that is owned and controlled by the community and whose main interest is to serve the people…” said Webb.


Yes, comrade, kind of like the US Postal Service which is a hugely expensive and wasteful government-based entity that is running massive and growing deficits every year.


This new breed of Broadband Bullies is going to forge ahead with their plans. And then when these municipalities fall into a financial hole, some court will demand that the big internet providers bail them out. Or the taxpayer, who already is tapped out.


You might think that we have seen this broadband issue before. In the 1930s and 1940s, the federal government under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 subsidized power lines to farms in rural areas. But the crucial difference is that farmers needed to live on that land to work it.


The Broadband Bullies, on the other hand, are people who electively choose for lifestyle reasons to live way out in the country. And then they demand all the conveniences of the Big City to follow them.


They should pay for those conveniences themselves.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.