Broadband internet access is important in our increasingly connected world. We knew that BEFORE March 2020 and the start of COVID 19. But, government has a poor track record of delivering anything at a reasonable cost and broadband is no different.
Check out this from the Biden Administration regarding broadband projects on tribal lands.
One project offers broadband on the Ak-Chin Indian Community in Arizona to the tune of $3,080,698.37 in order to serve 255 households. That comes to $12,000 spent per household hookup.
Right here in New Mexico $3,742,991.00 is being spent on Santa Clara pueblo to connect 79 households, 15 Tribal offices, 2 Tribal businesses, and 3 so-called “community anchor institutions.” When all is said and done federal taxpayers will spend more than $3.7 million to connect 99 entities at a cost-per-hookup of $37,808.
As federal taxpayers we should all question whether this is a worthwhile use of tax dollars. After all, Elon Musk’s Starlink system is available in the region and at a tiny fraction of the cost. It will likely get much cheaper (and better) as time goes on.
Worse, powerful New Mexico legislators are actively considering pouring “surplus” revenues into broadband access. Government does a terrible job of providing these basic services.