Citizens group rails against broadband spending waste; Obama pushes national plan

Government-funded broadband is a bad idea and a waste of money that is not being properly tracked, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) said in a press release that railed against the expenditure of $7.2 billion for "inefficient" broadband programs that "crowd out private investment."

In comments aimed at the House Committee on  Energy and Commerce hearing on broadband spending in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, CAGW took the side of smaller local operators like Eagle Broadband which it said "have been subjected to unfair ‘competition' from the broadband program."

While CAGW was voicing its opposition to Congress, President Obama was in Michigan pushing an $18 billion wireless plan that would probably wrest away broadcasters' spectrum, auction it off and use it to build out a national broadband network. The broadcasters, of course, are about as happy at this thought as CAGW is with the use of stimulus funds.

"We aren't against the plan," NAB President Gordon Smith said, his tongue apparently free of his cheek. The organization, he added, wants assurance that the spectrum grab is "truly voluntary and we want to hold harmless those who don't want to participate."

For more:
- see this news release
- and this story

Related articles:
Government awards $795 million in broadband stimulus' second round
NCTA contends broadband stimulus funding is being misallocated
FCC still considering paying broadcasters for spectrum
Obama to reveal wireless broadband plans during Michigan speech

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