CAGW Responds to Sen. Thune's Broadband Questions | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Responds to Sen. Thune's Broadband Questions

The WasteWatcher

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) responded today to a request from Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) for the organization’s priorities on broadband policy and views on the current broadband regulatory structure, and answers to a series of questions regarding broadband deployment across the country and how to best use taxpayer resources to help bridge the digital divide. 

CAGW noted the significant private sector investment of $2 trillion by broadband providers since 1996, and that the government’s role in broadband should be supportive rather than obstructive.  This is especially relevant after the Government Accountability Office reported in May, 2022, that there are 133 federal programs across 15 agencies to deploy broadband without appropriate oversight or coordination, and there is no national broadband strategy, which has the most negative impact on communities with limited resources.  CAGW noted the potential for wasteful spending of broadband funding for either government-owned networks or overbuilding existing broadband networks, and the need for increased oversight by Congress for the hundreds of billions of dollars available for issued through the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Taxpayers should be encouraged that members of Congress like Sen. Thune are already engaging in a thorough review of broadband spending and investigating problem areas where precious taxpayer resources could be wasted instead of being directed to unserved and underserved communities.  This effort, along with the heightened interest in oversight by the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, will help ensure that federal funding is directed where it is most needed and broadband access is made available to every area of the country. 

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