Clinton's Fraudulent Telecom Plans

by: Matt Stoller

Thu Jan 10, 2008 at 16:58


Excuse me for a second while I delve into something substantive.  I've written about Obama's transformative proposals on media and contrasted them to Hillary Clinton's 'Connect America' plan to expand broadband access, which is based on a private-public partnership model called Connect Kentucky.  Well, it turns out that Connect Kentucky is basically a fraudulent front group funded by government grants set up by telecom interests to advance their legislatve agenda and lie about internet access.  And what Clinton wants to do is spread it nationwide.

Connect Kentucky's own Andrew McNeill came onto this blog during our legislation 2.0 experiment to discuss his organization's achievements.

And, if I may say so myself, the results have been impressive. Currently 94% of Kentucky households have access to broadband internet service - up from only 60% two years ago.

Art Brodsky has the story debunking this from sources in Kentucky.

Connect's claim that more than 90 percent of the state has access to broadband has been met with a great deal of skepticism. "It's a joke," one knowledgeable source said, echoing what others also believe.

Sources with knowledge of the program said there were a myriad of problems. Connect Kentucky's results were overstated by a methodology that determined everyone within a 2.5-mile radius from a telephone company facility capable of supplying Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service was indeed capable of getting the service. However, that assumption was not always true, the source said.

There are other weaknesses. Carriers aren't required to submit any information, and information considered proprietary can be withheld.

And Kentucky has fallen behind other states in terms of broadband.

Kentucky ranked 40th in broadband deployment, dropping three places from 2002, according to ITIF. The state in 2007 also ranked 44th in high-tech jobs, 46th in scientists and engineers as a percentage of the workforce.

Connect Kentucky also uses government funds to lobby aggressively for anti-consumer legislation, and is spreading to a bunch of different states as well as making its way into Clinton's technology plan.  Currently, Dick Durbin is pushing to expand Connect Kentucky nationwide, probably because his former telecom policy aide is lobbying for Verizon.

I've been skeptical of both Connect Kentucky and Hillary Clinton's telecom plans for some time.  Art Brodsky has shown that the reality is much worse than I had imagined.  Hopefully Senator Clinton will get rid of the telecom lobbyist inspired dreck writing the plans in her shop.  There's room for Clinton to maneuver away from Connect Kentucky, but her plan still doesn't contain a commitment that her FCC will uphold net neutrality provisions.  Clinton's media and internet proposals may allow the destruction of the internet.

Matt Stoller :: Clinton's Fraudulent Telecom Plans

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What a disaster (0.00 / 0)
I deleted the off-topic comment.

Feels like the 1990's  all over again: progress means government doing what large corporations want it to do.

Would this be an example of the kind of things certain of her critics (0.00 / 0)
have suspected her capable of, and perhaps even enthusiastic about?

That is, the legendary "dolch-stoss." Sans Snopes, though; delivered to her "progressive" followers and devotees upon the event of her inauguration. The pro-quo for the yet-to-be-negotiated quid?

Her husband was a pretty enthusiastic advocate for the telecoms, iirc.

Net neutrality is not high on the CorpoRat agenda (understatement alert in effect til midnight).


Where's the beef? (0.00 / 0)
There's much about Connect Kentucky that's valuable in principle--including collecting broadband availability data and mobilizing to expand availability, data rates, etc.  But, as you note, and Art's very long post describes in detail, the problems relate to execution and control.

Jumping blindly on the bandwagon of this model, without understanding and correcting its shortcomings, is lazy policymaking at best, and not an indication that a candidate or Congressperson understands and cares about what's at stake.

One of the things that draws me to Obama is his tech policy and the fact that Larry Lessig is enthusiastically in his camp.  Lessig knows his stuff on these issues and is about as passionate about them as anyone.  That suggests to me that Obama understands the significance and is serious about REALLY moving in the right direction, not just sounding like he is.


Holy Jumpin' HuckaBees! (0.00 / 0)
The Hill a corporatist Dem?

Who'd a thunk it!

Never in a million years would I have guessed THAT!

Just the first in a series of revelations about how the The Clinton's 'Theory of Pie' so very, very much resembles that BushCo theme that fascism is good for America 'cause it's 'good for business' which is Centrist Democrat speak for good for giant mega-corporations profit margins.

Just 'More of the Same!'

Such bullshit, sadly at Paul's post yesterday many voters think Clintonia is a populist kinda place. That's where the 'sphere needs to go to work on educating the voters that it is not in any way, shape or form where you and your family want to live.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.


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