President Joe Biden has declared that high-speed broadband internet is not a “luxury” but is such an essential necessity that taxpayers should provide it for everyone.
Biden has reached an agreement with 20 private internet providers that uses public funds to allow poor persons to purchase state-of-the-art broadband internet access for only $30 per month.
Biden also announced the federal government would provide a subsidy for the $30 monthly fee for qualifying low-income households so that the service becomes free of cost to those persons.
Even if there is some economic argument that internet access is a public good that is so essential that it must be provided universally, the question remains whether the most expensive type of internet access is needed.
Dial-up and DSL internet access is still available nationwide. Although it might not be as useful for internet gaming or entertainment, it remains functional for what could arguably be classified as “essential” functions.
In his speech on Monday, Biden described the internet as “pretty consequential.” He said that since “high-speed internet is not a luxury any longer,” the bipartisan infrastructure law included $65 billion to “expand access” into every region of the country.
Broadband internet was already available in every region of the country before a group of Republican senators joined with Democrats to allow passage of the massive “infrastructure” bill. Even though the bill does not provide for subsidizing existing internet capabilities for everyone, Republicans agreed to the framework that has added to the incredible amount of federal spending flooding the highly inflated American economy.
The new federal spending program is called the Affordable Connectivity Program, and Biden said that it will “change people’s lives.” He said that the program will provide “fast internet, good downloads, speeds with no caps and no extra fees for millions of American families.”
Biden also made sure to thank Vice President Kamala Harris for “leading the effort” to get the free broadband internet plan in place.
A senior administration official confirmed that there are around 1,300 internet service providers participating in the program and the White House would “obviously love for each and every one of them to make the same commitments that these 20 companies are doing.”
The GOP senators who voted to facilitate the Biden “infrastructure” plan did their part to assist Democrats with a spending program that will attract votes leading into this year’s crucial midterm elections.