FCC commissioner hits Biden admin for  billion in unspent high speed internet funds

The senior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is blaming the Biden administration for a lack of high-speed internet projects that were approved under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, comparing the situation to the dearth of electric vehicle charging stations that were also supposed to be built with the funds.

“In 2021, the Biden Administration got $42.45 billion from Congress to deploy high-speed Internet to millions of Americans,” GOP-appointed Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote on X last week. “Years later, it has not connected even 1 person with those funds. In fact, it now says that no construction projects will even start until 2025 at earliest.”

Commenters on social media noted that the funds were allocated to the states, arguing the Biden administration is not responsible for any delays. But Carr says it is the Biden administration that is holding up progress.

“There’s no question that the 2021 law put some process in place, but the Biden administration decided to layer on top of that a Byzantine additional set of hoops that states have to go through before the administration will approve them to actually get these funds and start completing the builds,” Carr told FOX Business in an interview.

BIDEN ADMIN UNVEILS TAX CREDIT SCHEME TO BOOST CLEAN ENERGY WAGES

Carr acknowledged that some high-speed internet projects have connected people during the Biden administration, but he said none of them have been funded by the $42.5 billion allocation from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program from the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which was the administration’s signature broadband initiative.

Joe Biden Kamala Harris

When reached for comment, the White House did not address Carr’s claim that no high-speed internet projects from the BEAD program are actually up and running, but it pointed to three Republican governors’ statements touting the receipt of federal funds for broadband projects.

“As Governor Huckabee Sanders said when she announced the funding her state is receiving from President Biden’s Internet for All Program, these funds are ‘transformational’ and help ‘close the digital divide’ between rural and urban Americans,” White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson told FOX Business in a statement.

BIDEN ACCUSED OF PLAYING POLITICS WITH FLORIDA FUNDING IN PRO-UNION PUSH

“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, more than 2 million homes gained access to high-speed internet services since 2022, and networks are currently under construction in more than 25 states,” Patterson continued. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to delivering every American high-speed, reliable internet as fast as the law allows, and we’re proud of the praise our efforts have garnered – even from Republicans like Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Gov. Jim Justice.”

Carr said the program has been mired in bureaucratic delay, and he accused the administration of “spitting on applications from states that are attempting to move forward.” He said progress is even moving in the opposite direction in many cases.

Last Friday, in a post on X, Carr said the holdup is due to a “partisan political agenda” that says includes, “climate change mandates, tech biases, DEI requirements, favoring government-run networks + more.”

The Republican commissioner further blasted the Biden administration over the Democrat majority at the FCC’s move in 2022 to revoke the $800 million awarded to Elon Musk’s Starlink under the Trump administration, which he says would have brought high-speed internet service to 642,000 rural locations.

Carr pointed to the recent controversy over the lack of progress on the Biden administration’s promise to have 500,000 EV charging stations across the nation by the end of the decade, using funds from the infrastructure bill, after the Federal Highway Administration revealed that only seven or eight have actually been built so far. He says this situation is worse.

“A lot of people look at the seven EV chargers, and they thought that was a big miss,” Carr said. “And you know, at least you got seven EV chargers. Here, we’ve got $42 billion, and we’ve got no shovels in the ground – nobody connected at all.”

Share.

Leave A Reply

© 2024 Time Bulletin. All Rights Reserved.