Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Communications Network The Internet Hardware Politics Technology

Trump Pushes To Expand High-Speed Internet In Rural America (reuters.com) 317

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday to make it easier for the private sector to locate broadband infrastructure on federal land and buildings, part of a push to expand high-speed internet in rural America. Reuters reports: "We need to get rural America more connected. We need it for our tractors, we need it for our schools, we need it for our home-based businesses," a White House official told reporters ahead of Trump's speech at the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "We're not moving mountains but we're certainly getting started," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to preview Trump's actions. The White House described the moves as an incremental step to help spur private development while the administration figures out what it can do to help with funding, something that could become part of Trump's plan to invest in infrastructure. "We know that funding is really the key thing to actually changing rural broadband," a second White House official said. Reuters cites a 2016 report from the Federal Communications Commission, noting that 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed internet service.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Trump Pushes To Expand High-Speed Internet In Rural America

Comments Filter:
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:09PM (#55890345) Homepage Journal
    He is very familiar with rural people and their needs. He grew up in the small town of Manhattan. Upper West Side. He is one of US!
    • "He is one of US!"

      And a very stable, smart genius.

      So Kentucky beware, there will be Alexas in every moonshine hut soon.

  • Broadband? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:10PM (#55890351)

    Didn't the FCC just change the definition of broadband to 10 mbps down 1 mbps up? I don't think I understand what's happening in this administration.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Nope, they just changed it to 25/3 up from 4/1 during the Obama administration.

      • by pots ( 5047349 )
        What do you mean, "nope"? There's no nope, what the parent said is indeed what they did. They also did the thing you said, that's two different things.
    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:46PM (#55890545) Journal

      Didn't the FCC just change the definition of broadband to 10 mbps down 1 mbps up? I don't think I understand what's happening in this administration.

      Thereby massively expanding the number of rural broadband connections? Wow, results!

    • Re:Broadband? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by harrkev ( 623093 ) <[gro.ylimafnoslerrah] [ta] [dsmfk]> on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:56PM (#55890611) Homepage

      Up until 2-1/2 years ago, I lived in a rural area 13 miles from the closest gas station. I only had 5 Mbps, and was lucky to have that. It was actually quite livable. I could easily stream a Netflix show while doing other things. I even did a little bit of telecommuting (chip design) over a VPN, using tools like SOC Encounter (very graphics based). Not ideal, but livable.

      So, double that? Yeah, enough to support 2 or 3 streaming movies at the same time. More is always better, but 10 Mbps is definitely nothing to complain about. Yeah, if you are downloading a 10 GB video game, it might take more than 1/2 hour.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:16PM (#55890387) Journal

    Some suspect he's rewarding those who voted for him and punishing blue states and their infrastructure projects. [cbslocal.com]

    He's known to personally reward loyalty and punish non-loyalty above personal doctrine or dogma. Even though he's pro-infrastructure, he still may avoid blue-state infrastructure as punishment for not voting for him and/or giving him poor ratings.

    The recent tax bill also tilts toward red states in that state and local taxes cannot be deducted as much as before from the total taxed. (Some may claim this is "more fair", but blue states already pay a disproportionate amount of money to the Federal Gov't, per population.)

    • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:22PM (#55890431)

      The recent tax bill also tilts toward red states in that state and local taxes cannot be deducted as much as before from the total taxed.

      The only reason you can say it "tilts" is because the state and local taxes are tilted by state color, too. Fascinating correlation there, yes?

      • by Plus1Entropy ( 4481723 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:50PM (#55890565)

        Yes, and the states with low taxes have to be subsidized by the ones with higher taxes for exactly that reason, because they don't tax their own residents enough to cover their costs. I believe it's called 'redistribution of wealth'.

      • Well if you want to look at the big picture, areas that have dense population tend to tilt blue. Areas that have dense populations also need more local taxes in order to deal with the increased need to regulation and infrastructure-- i.e. the 300 square miles of NYC needs more spending and upkeep than 300 square miles in the middle of nowhere.

        But also, that 300 square miles around NYC produces a disproportionate amount of economic activity and tax revenue. The 300 square miles in the middle of nowhere co

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      he still may avoid blue-state infrastructure as punishment for not voting for him

      Newsflash: that's how the system works. They're not being "punished" anymore than the red states were "punished" by Obama.

      And it works like that at every level; that's why the hometowns of senators get bigger infrastructure projects or tax breaks for job creation projects, or why the mayor's neighborhood is always first in line for snow or garbage removal. That's basically how democracy works.

    • Given the fact that he's a giant elderly toddler, I don't doubt it. However, this might be the one instance where I'd be ok with letting it slide. If the government wants to do any kind of economic stimulus, building and repairing infrastructure is probably the best thing it can do (assuming the infrastructure is needed and not just a boondoggle).

      Building decent internet infrastructure might be one of the best options, as far as building infrastructure goes. The modern economy runs on computers and inte

  • How is "high-speed" internet different than "broadband"? Does that mean 56k modems instead of morse keys?
  • So let's see... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Daemonik ( 171801 )
    • ..kickback to private businesses, check..
    • ..subsidies, check..
    • ..tacking even more debt onto the national budget, check..
    • ..Puerto Rico continues to suffer through a blackout, check..
    • ..no mention of municipal broadband, because that's commie socialism, check..
    • ..makes the effort right after his FCC Chairman kneecaps net neutrality and lowers the definition of broadband, check..

    Whelp.. the Trump trainwreck just keeps on a rollin'!

  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:22PM (#55890433)

    I thought the FCC was in the process of relaxing the definition of broadband so the established players could pretend they were doing more than they are?

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The rules in the past set who could be a NN ready monopoly telco.
      With NN rules changes expected, more innovative and new telcos can connect the USA again.
      No more federal NN rules to hold back US ISP building new networks with federal NN compliance rules.
      The ability to enter the US telco market is now not protected for just a few NN monopolies.
      • That's an excellent recitation of political talking points that doesn't actually address my post.

      • Remember this comment in 10 years when people in rural areas still don't have (actual) broadband internet, because you will be proven wrong.

        • by harrkev ( 623093 )

          Huh? Making it EASIER is not a guarantee that it will happen.

          I used to live in a rural area. It takes money to bury miles of cable, and money to install the DSLAM. If your expected payments over the next 10 years do not even cover the cost of installation, what do you suggest the ISPs do? Operate at a loss? Most companies don't intentionally set out to loose money.

          • Exactly.

            I work for a small company that is trying to provide rural internet to places the ISPs won't touch for exactly the reasons you state. And nothing about NN has any effect on what we are trying to do. Period. In fact, we are going to make guarantees that we will respect NN anyway, because it has no effect on our ability to deploy, operate, or maintain our network.

            I had broadband nearly a full 20 years before the 2015 rule change. Where was all the rural broadband in that time?

          • by mishehu ( 712452 )
            Uhm. A few things... 1. What the hell is the USF all about? Shouldn't that be funding some of this *already* ? 2. Profit is something that a company as a whole demonstrates. Not every. single. individual. installation. does, at least not for something that is otherwise considered to be a *utility*. The important part is that everybody gets good service, not that Randal Stephens gets to buy another gold yacht. Zone A is operating at a loss but needs the services anyway? Deploy and use the income f
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Hows that wireline paper insulated monopoly network been under the years of NN rules?
          With rule changes some of the better funded states, cities, towns might just have a chance to build a network, community broadband if they so want.
          No more NN rules to keep giving the protected monopoly court wins to block any new networks.
          Some parts of the USA might just get better networks. Gated communities can find a new, better quality ISP.
          Resorts, hotels, small business that employ local people might just attract
          • First of all:

            under the years of NN rules

            You mean the 2 years since 2015? I gave you 5x that and it still won't make a difference.

            I'm glad you got specific, remember this comment too.

            • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
              Re 'won't make a difference."
              Hows that "difference" been working out for networks and communities over the past years?
              Time to try the private sector and see what they can do where federal NN rules and federally protected telco monopolies failed.
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            What has NN got to do with lack of competition? Just because your ISP can charge you extra time watch Netflix in more than 240p isn't going to magically fix the last mile problem or remove laws blocking municipal broadband.

            In fact, the only solution to those problems is more regulation, not less.

    • by dinfinity ( 2300094 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @06:22AM (#55892041)

      You assume Trump is not going to pretend he is doing more than he is?

      If anything, any (not yet decided on) funding will be funneled to monopolistic underdelivering price-gouging 'friendly' ISPs whilst loudly proclaiming having connected rural America to broadband.

  • by magzteel ( 5013587 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:23PM (#55890437)

    You can't tell by some of the comments.

    At this point if the executive order provided free high speed internet to all Americans the headline would probably be
    "Trump signs order making it easier to spy on all Americans".

    • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:51PM (#55890583) Homepage Journal

      You can't tell by some of the comments.

      At this point if the executive order provided free high speed internet to all Americans the headline would probably be
      "Trump signs order making it easier to spy on all Americans".

      Damn!

      Just checking the early comments, and it's all "he's only rewarding the red states for voting him in", "it's encroachment on public lands - will end with offshore drilling and commercialization of public lands", "write a check to your cronies".

      They left out "he's only doing it to watch liberal heads explode [imgflip.com]".

      Even though I disliked Obama and [president] Clinton, at least I accepted that they were duly elected, and note that they did some things that were actually good for the country. Notably, Clinton reduced regulations and reduced the deficit (and national debt) for awhile.

      Is there *nothing* good that will come from this president?

      At least he's no longer literally Hitler. That's progress.

      • At least he's no longer literally Hitler. That's progress.

        He still exhibits some of the most worrying traits of Hitler, like his constant attacks on the free press.

      • Notably, Clinton reduced regulations and reduced the deficit (and national debt) for awhile.

        Clinton and Gingrich reduced the deficit, but the debt hasn't dropped [treasurydirect.gov] since Eisenhower.

    • We don't know. The text of the orders hasn't been published. However, there are some details on the White House website [whitehouse.gov]:

      The first of these two orders instructs the Department of Interior to dedicate a portion of its assets for rural broadband installation. The second order will streamline the installation process by requiring agencies to use standardized forms and contracts for installing antennas on federal buildings, thus improving process efficiency.

      According to the White House, it certainly sounds positive. However, there is still room for speculation, and certainly cause to be concerned.

      The first order could be anything, from allocating funding for connection projects to forcing the DoI to sell off chunks of land [businessinsider.com] for corporate use. There's so little detail in the descriptions I've seen that it's very difficult to determine exactly w

      • Remember when Cons complained about "ruling through executive orders"?
        • Remember when Cons complained about "ruling through executive orders"?

          Yeah - that was awesome!

          (Remember when you said it was OK to do that?)

          • Re:Chris Farley (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @11:38PM (#55890811) Homepage

            Yeah - that was awesome!

            (Remember when you said it was OK to do that?)

            Executive orders in the face of a Congress & Senate that outright refuse to even talk about the issues you want heard is one thing. Writing more than all other presidents in the last 50 years because you really wish you were a dictator and not bothering to even ask the legislature who is your own party and holds majorities in both Congress and the Senate is quite another.

            Also, taking something you hated when the other guy did it and going completely wild with it when you're in power, is not winning. It's just being a ginormous hypocrite.

            • Re:Chris Farley (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @10:11AM (#55892773)

              Executive orders in the face of a Congress & Senate that outright refuse to even talk about the issues you want heard is one thing. Writing more than all other presidents in the last 50 years because you really wish you were a dictator and not bothering to even ask the legislature who is your own party and holds majorities in both Congress and the Senate is quite another.

              Amusingly, Wikipedia has a list of executive orders per year [wikipedia.org]. Trump's 12-month executive order total equals Obama's last 15 months in office. Not 50 years. And Carter (37 years ago) was the last President to issue executive orders at a higher rate than Trump. If you're going to badmouth him, at least get your facts right.

              Also, taking something you hated when the other guy did it and going completely wild with it when you're in power, is not winning. It's just being a ginormous hypocrite.

              I suspect Trump's rate is high just because this was his first year, and many of his executive orders [wikipedia.org] were rolling back or modifying Obama's executive orders. Nothing hypocritical about that. As much as Democrats would've loved it if Trump had kept all of Obama's executive orders in force, we all knew that simply wasn't realistic. The next 3 years will tell if he's a hypocrite about executive orders.

              • You need to look at the numbers of "presidential memorandum [wikipedia.org]" as well - calling an executive action with the force of law something different doesn't mean it really is. Memoranda have the added bonus of not even needing to be published!
      • Until we see the actual text, I will assume this is just another case of shovelling money at large telecom companies to increase their profits.

  • ... on public lands.

    This administration is out to commercialize protected areas including offshore drilling and Alaskan drilling as well.

    It's the camel nose approach.

    "Think of the children without the internet where we plan to put government and private interests."

    • So what? That's been going on for 97 years! Completely legal, federal land and the minerals under them can be rented out and used by businesses and individuals who then have to pay royalties and rents.

      Nothing new, herds of camels have been kept in the tents for nearly 100 years; no notion of there being any nose poking in now.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      AC re "without the internet where we plan to put government and private interests"
      So no running water into public lands?
      No electricity?
      No paved roads?
      Public lands are just left to become wild? Some sates in the USA have a lot of "public land" between other parts of their state, towns and cities.
      Kind of a great idea to build a paved road, bridges, connect electricity, have working phones, fast internet as needed all over the USA? Some of the networks will have to pass "public land" to connect real peo
  • Funding? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @11:08PM (#55890667)

    A) Broadband companies have received well over a billion taxpayer dollars in both direct and indirect subsidies since the Clinton administration. How can providing them with more taxpayer money possibly do any good?

    B) With the massive tax cut just implemented, these companies should be rolling in dough and not need taxpayer help.

    C) Why is it when we hear about subsidies for wind or solar we're told those companies should either stand on their own or die on the vine, yet for established, multi-billion dollar companies no amount of taxpayer funds is ever enough?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      $400 billion to be more precise:

      https://nationaleconomicseditorial.com/2017/11/27/americans-fiber-optic-internet/

    • This is about right-of-way and locating facilities, not funding. How this will play out in real life is unclear.

  • Cue post after post spinning this into something nefarious in some way even though up until now everybody here was screaming for this.
  • I moved into my house 10 years ago, and while I do have 15/5 unlimited cellular internet, having 100+ internet would be nice. I have fiber at the end of my street, but unless Spectrum decides to spend $150K to come down my street, my guess is that 5G cellular will be probably come first. A few years ago CenturyLink told me they would not bring DSL to my street, because they could not make any money off of it as they needed more customers (10-15 houses wasn't enough).
    • I have fiber at the end of my street, but unless Spectrum decides to spend $150K ...

      You must have a very long street. Suburban installation cost for in-ground fiber are usually $50,000/mile or so.

  • I think, what the current POTUS is doing is manipulative or suggested by others and he could agree.
    The real stuff is done in another room. And things go how the wind blows, nobody knows for real.
    That's life at the moment....

  • Trump Pushes To Expand High-Speed Internet In Rural America

    I didn't realize meth labs required so much bandwidth.

    Crackdown on legal reefer states and broadband so grandma can buy her oxycontin on the dark web. Clearly, America is being made great again.

  • Because the first thing the president should do to open up the internet to rural america is fire the entire FCC board and get some sensible people that aren't propping up companies like comcast, qwest, Att, verizon ect. That want to offer crappy service and charge people through the nose for it.

  • We know, from reports such as this one:-

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-p... [arstechnica.com]

    that States are now hard at work to write their own net neutrality legislation at the State level. Bearing in mind just how much money the big telcos have just spent paying on "lobbying" to have the FCC overturn the Obama Net Neutrality legislation, the idea that States could push back against this by enacting their own laws must really chafe.

    So maybe what is going on here is simply a measure, pushed for by the cable lobby, to
  • Allow municipal fiber across the nation and the issue will resolve itself in a short time. Trump is a fool thinking that for profits make massive investments into infrastructure to serve a few hundred customers. There is a reason why there is no broadband in rural America and access to federal land and buildings is not one of them.
  • If Donald Trump (or any other politician in Washington) was serious about increasing the availability of broadband to Americans (rural or otherwise) the best place to start would be to use whatever federal powers exist to overturn or block laws put in place by state and local government that restrict broadband competition (or have the effect of restricting broadband competition even if that wasn't the intent of the people who created the laws).

    Getting rid of laws restricting competition (as well as deals do

  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @10:04AM (#55892723)

    We need it for our tractors

    That's an odd thing to say. Perhaps the driver for this is the desire of tractor makers to limit use. Sorry Mr Farmer, you need to pay for this broadband since your tractor will not work unless it can phone home over wifi every five minutes.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson

Working...