Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Frozen Tundra 2.0

The Press Gazette reports that Representative Kagen, Governor Doyle, and a representative from the commerce department will announce Thursday that stimulus funds may be used to improve access to broadband internet service in the Green Bay area.

While I do believe that there is a role for government in the development of infrastructure, including the high tech kind, I'm generally skeptical of projects that simply expand access to proven technologies in areas where the market could do the job. I live in the Green Bay area and manage to post to this blog several times a week, so it's not exactly as if this is an internet wasteland. I don't know yet what exactly will be proposed, but it's not going to be Rural Free Delivery. In fact, Wisconsin already ranks 9th in the nation in individual internet use. (H/T Cindy Kilkenny).

These days, though, a specific and limited goal is no longer sufficient for government programs. The report on this announcement included this:
The Recovery Act initiative will “help bridge the technological divide, boost economic development, create jobs and improve education and health care” through the improvement of Internet access, according to the department.
Wow, is there anything stimulus can't do? Don't get too excited though, here was the next line of the report:
No other details were provided.
Huh, I wonder why?

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