Biden’s $42.5B Rural Internet Plan Fails, No Homes Connected in Three Years

Three years ago, Biden unveiled the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) initiative, a $42.5 billion project aimed at bringing high-speed internet to rural America. However, despite the substantial funding, not a single home has been connected yet. The initiative has become emblematic of governmental inefficiency, bogged down by the bureaucracy and red tape typical of Washington.

Rural Americans, who were promised modern high-speed internet, are still waiting. Despite the grand funding, no homes have been connected, and actual construction won’t begin until sometime next year—if all goes according to plan. The delays can be attributed to numerous bureaucratic obstacles, including climate change mandates, union hiring preferences, and requirements favoring the employment of individuals with criminal records.

This postponement means that the essential modernization of rural internet services won't commence until 2025 or 2026. During a House budget hearing, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr revealed that these underserved areas might not receive high-speed internet until 2030, nine years after the funding was announced.

Rural Americans have long struggled with slow internet over outdated copper lines, and many areas have no access at all. Rather than simplifying the process, Washington appears to be complicating it. Alan Davidson from the Commerce Department claimed that the BEAD initiative is progressing at a reasonable pace, even though he informed Congress that the project would not see tangible progress until at least 2025-2026.

Lawmakers have rightly questioned why the bill includes so many extraneous provisions. Preferences for scarce union labor in rural areas, hiring mandates for individuals with criminal backgrounds, and climate-related risk assessments do not offer immediate benefits to those waiting for a reliable internet connection. The bill also favors government-owned networks, a move criticized for potentially exposing taxpayers to financial risk, as highlighted by the National Taxpayers Union.

Additionally, the inclusion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) elements further delays the project, leaving rural Americans to continue suffering from inadequate internet service. Biden has remained notably silent on this issue, adding to the growing list of unfulfilled promises during his administration. It’s no wonder, given the various systemic failures: grounded planes, derailed trains, insufficient charging stations for electric vehicles, and now, rural areas still lacking internet. This situation epitomizes the challenges of the current administration.

Written by Staff Reports

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