CAGW Releases Issue Brief on the Folly of Government-Owned Networks | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Releases Issue Brief on the Folly of Government-Owned Networks

Press Release

May 25, 2021
For Immediate Release
May 25, 2021
Contact: Alexandra Abrams (202-467-5310)

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released a new Issue Brief, “The Folly of Government-Owned Networks,” co-authored by CAGW President Tom Schatz and CAGW Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs Deborah Collier, which details how government-owned broadband networks are wasteful, anti-competitive, and costly for taxpayers.

Tom Schatz and Deborah Collier issued the following statement:

“When the COVID-19 pandemic forced tens of millions of Americans to work, socialize, and attend school from home, the networks that support access to the internet were faced with an unprecedented challenge.  The resiliency of broadband in the U.S. during the pandemic flourished compared to other countries and internet traffic grew more than projected.  High broadband investments and light-touch regulations through the private sector has given the U.S. significant leads in broadband adoption, deployment, and infrastructure.  Even with all this success, there are several bills that have been enacted into law and new proposals that dramatically increase the government’s “investment” in broadband.  The American Jobs Plan proposes $100 billion for a single technology (fiber) with a preference for government-owned networks.  This would be 14 times larger than the $7.2 billion for broadband under the Obama-Biden stimulus, which was rife with wasteful spending.  And some states, like Montana and Vermont, are using some of the money they received out of the $220 billion provided in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for broadband.  In Vermont, it is enough to reach all underserved communities.  The use of ARPA funds for broadband, along with the tens of billions of unspent dollars from prior initiatives, would seem to mitigate or eliminate the need for any more money from the federal government to build or expand broadband in underserved or unserved areas of the country.  And if that money is walled off for GONs, it could lead to some of the worst wasteful spending for any program in U.S. history.  Instead, Congress needs to stay out of the way of the incredible progress that has been made in broadband service and reach and let the private sector continue their success.”

CAGW is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.


Contact Name: 
Alexandra Abrams
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email:

Sign Up For Email Updates

Optional Member Code