Donald J. Trump is a one-of-a-kind.
He connected with rural voters in a way that launched him into the presidency. Despite being from a world unknown to his rural supporters his no-nonsense promises to stand up against corruption were exactly what his constituents were looking for.
The White House just announced on January 8, 2018, a new Executive Order to streamline and expedite requests to locate broadband facilities in rural America.. The executive order states as fact that “currently, too many American citizens and businesses still lack access to this basic tool of modern economic connectivity.” Then why is this same administration taking actions that will make it harder for rural Americans to secure broadband access?
Those very same rural supporters are watching what happens with Trump’s very own Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as they are pushing a rule that will hurt the very voters who put him in the White House by killing broadband access for many rural Americans. The swamp is much more difficult to drain in reality than in a great speech. The trouble with the FCC threatens to destroy the President Trump Make America Great Again motto entirely for rural Americans.
DC lobbyists with deep pockets lined with money from the big mobile carriers are attempting to sway the Trump Administration their way. Will Trump stand up to the big mobile carriers or will it cave just like every Administration before it?
Trump supporting rural voters are watching what will happen. Will the new FCC rule that will make it harder for rural consumers and providers to receive broadband services become reality? These rural Americans will not be fooled by the empty promise of an executive order when the FCC is taking concrete action to do the opposite.
Corporate mobile carrier providers are looking to buy up the spectrum for the profitable urban areas to the detriment of rural areas thank to the FCC. Rural Trump supporting Americans will be long forgotten as election props if the FCC is successful in changing the rules.
Several years ago, the FCC adopted a rule intended to stimulate investment in rural broadband networks. Those stimulants are now at risk after a 4 to 1 vote to redraft the rules at the request of mobile carriers. The rules for 3.5 GHz “Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)” spectrum band has been changed at the urging and lobbying of the mobile industry that massive geographical areas known as PEA’s, add an undefined “renewal expectancy” and extending license terms from 3 to 10 years.
The new rules would favor the large mobile carriers because it would shut out the rural Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from using this spectrum for underserved areas where it’s needed most.
The FCC Commissioners have the power to do what’s right by rural America. FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Reilly, Brendan Carr, Jessica Rosenworcel could come together and make this rule more balanced between the needs of rural consumers and the big mobile carrier industry, but will they? Will the Trump Administration require the do right by rural Americans? Time will tell.
More than 23 million rural Americans lack basic fixed broadband service in their homes. They have had enough waiting on the FCC decision that seems intent on delaying the deployment of broadband in their rural communities to put the needs of the well-heeled mobile industry first.
The idea of draining the swamp was what garnered many votes for Trump. The FCC swamp seems as croc-infested as any part of our bloated federal government swimming with special interest varmints looking out for number 1.
Cronyism is doing what it does. Looking out for its friends…the transfer of wealth from the little guys to the big mobile carriers is cronyism at its worst. The FCC should not be allowed to be used for competitive advantage and a back room profiteering scheme.
Current rules are adequate, the status quo is shockingly fair and existing rules are flexible enough to enable many different business models. National wire carriers, small mobile providers, industrial companies, universities, sports arenas, building managers and others are relying on the current rules. The FCC should leave well enough alone when it comes to this. If they do not, the signal will be loud and clear…the Trump Administration has no intention of draining the swamp…they’re just becoming part of it.
Trump voters in rural areas are hoping and watching to see what Trumps FCC will do. It would be a breath of fresh air to see the Administration step in and make sure that the swamp does not win again.