Your tax dollars at work: Obama stimulus blew $7 million per house on broadband

by editor on July 9, 2011

Some might say $7 million per home seems a bit pricey, but to those cynics we say money is no object when it comes to bringing high speed porn to rural areas of this fine nation.


Cletus and Clem, the Editor's redneck relatives in rural Montana, will love President Obama's high speed internet as soon as they get electricity has the disturbing details:

Eisenach and Caves looked at three areas that received stimulus funds, in the form of loans and direct grants, to expand broadband access in Southwestern Montana, Northwestern Kansas, and Northeastern Minnesota. The median household income in these areas is between $40,100 and $50,900. The median home prices are between $94,400 and $189,000.

$94,000 for a house? Hell, that may be the real story in this story. $94K isn’t even a down payment here in California.

So how much did it cost per unserved household to get them broadband access? A whopping $349,234, or many multiples of household income, and significantly more than the cost of a home itself.

Sadly, it’s actually worse than that. Take the Montana project. The area is not in any meaningful sense unserved or even underserved. As many as seven broadband providers, including wireless, operate in the area. Only 1.5% of all households in the region had no wireline access. And if you include 3G wireless, there were only seven households in the Montana region that could be considered without access. So the cost of extending access in the Montana case comes to about $7 million for each additional household served.

Of course, the Obama administration was terribly disappointed by the $7 million figure. They were confident the number would come in much, much higher.


Leave a Reply

20 Comments on "Your tax dollars at work: Obama stimulus blew $7 million per house on broadband"

Notify of

If that joker can afford to pay for all those tattoos, he sure as ‘ell can pay for his own dang high-speed internet.


Why are you picking on these two hard working, god-fearing country boys – do I detect some redneck racism?

Come on, we all know these two are behind the flash mobs and violence that’s in the news lately – oh wait, that black youf.


I saw this article, and took a peek. I’m pretty ashamed to be on this site right now, after reading these comments.

Technology is moving faster than people are, innovations are coming frequently, and we’re way down on the list of keeping up with it. Other nation’s citizens are way ahead of us in many areas, the high-speed internet is just one of them. Dial-up connections are from the 80’s and early 90’s. Are you suggesting we stay in those time periods as a nation, while others shoot past us? Dial-up connections are STILL normal in this country. Other developed nations move past us in that regard, as “high speed” is the normal connection for them.

Every one of us right now is on the internet, communicating and sharing ideas. Frankly, to sit there are poke fun at people in rural areas is just wrong. I live in a rural area right now, and yes, I have high speed internet. *I* pay for the service, no one else. Don’t I have a right to do my banking online, at a reasonable pace, instead of waiting for an archaic system like I did twenty years ago? Can’t I watch movies on Netflix like people in New York City? Seriously, I’m ashamed of the comments here. It’s sad.

And no, I do not support Obama. But if in some fashion he’s trying to upgrade the quality of life for those of us that do not live in big cities, then yes, go for it. I’m an American, just like the guy in Chicago. Shouldn’t I have the right to have access to the same service he does?


As long as you are paying for it out of your own pocket you can have all the internet access and cell phone service you want to pay for. The point you are missing here is we taxpayers, you know, those of us that earn our own way, are paying for a service that the people in these “rural” parts of the country are not willing to pay for themselves or they would already have the service.

Are you getting the point here? PAY FOR WHAT YOU WANT? Saying people “deserve” free cell phones or high speed internet service is like saying I “deserve” Charmin Ultra Soft instead of last weeks newspaper to wipe with in the old outhouse. Are you willing to send me a case of Charmin? Newspaper and hemorroids can be a bad mix and I need all the help I can get.


More like poking fun at the way government wastes money.
I’m sorry if I offended the Editor’s redneck relatives or anyone else.
By the way, I live in rural Arkansas and the redneck stuff is not that offensive to rednecks. Jerry Clower, Jeff Foxworthy, and Larry the Cable Guy are proof, because everyone here in the south love their “redneck” comedy. Well, most everyone, we do have some haughty liberals here too.


Absolutely you have the right to high speed internet access or whatever else it is that you want as long as YOU are paying for it, which you are. See, it’s hard to take an administration seriously when they tell us that we need to raise the debt ceiling and taxes to make ends meet and then we find out it is spending money on unnecessary things like this. That’s pretty much the entire point of this article and about 75% of this site, as far as I’ve seen.

We don’t have any sort of moral or ethical obligation to “keep up with the Joneses” in other countries. We have an obligation to provide protection, safe roads, safe communities, clean water, and efficient, objective schooling grades K-12 for our citizens. Although I could debate that all education should be privatized, as well. But I won’t go there in this comment. After those basics, we’re all on our own to provide what we feel we need and want.

In my world, if I can’t afford it, I go without. And it hasn’t killed me in my 36 years so far!


I guess Mouduka missed the part about how much money was spent per household affected. Or maybe not.

Buck O'Fama

Money is no object when it’s other people’s and liberals are spending it. It’s for the children (actually, it’s for whoever it has to be for in order for you to shut up and let them steal more of it.)


Follow the money.
The entire “stimulus” was a boondoggle intended to supply cash to Obama’s supporters.
I expect much of it will end up getting funneled back into his campaign coffers for 2012.

Yet another reason socialism never works. Because you have to have ethical people running the socialist programs. But there’s no such thing as an ethical socialist.

Jim Stewart

Now just a minute!!

You people have to put this into perspective. For example, what if one of those seven newly connected homes in Montana allows someone to collaborate with his or her peers and prove that global warming is happening and it really is affecting the size of cow turds (tip of the hat to R. Coddington) and it’s all caused by human activity. Wouldn’t that be worth a trifling $7 million?

Yeah, so maybe that $7 million might have been wasted in the private sector to hire a 100 or so lower class types to be receptionists or assistant managers at a McDonald’s but it’s that kind of backward thinking that prevents the Chevy Volt from being a bestseller.


This much blood letting of the treasure of this nation deserves the death penalty!


“Wen you spend a trillion dollars you want to make sure you do it right”
Vice President Joe ‘Sheriff’ Biden

Thank goodness they were doing it right!

The payback on this ‘investment’ is at infinity.

Joe Redfield

More needs to be done to improve the blighted lives of these rural denizens of the Heartland Hell; you realize they also don’t have access to high speed rail! We’re going to need a MUCH higher debt ceiling.


I don’t understand. Surely these denizens of flyover country aren’t Democrat voters?


What they left out of the article is, the new highspeed internet they delivered to these people is stuck on HuffPo.


That is the next step, I bet. What good is “free” internet with out a “free” computer to accesses it? After all high speed internet access is a right, just like healthcare, citizenship for any Mexican willing to come take it and union membership.

When will the president address my right to chicken done right?
That is what I’d like to know.


Somehow, looking at the picture of these two and then reading “…my right to chicken done right” leaves me with the wierdest sense of wrong. I think I’m scared. Even Homer paused from licking himself to give that one some thought!


Hey Cletus, You got ya one of them there puters yet? Naw, I figure I’ll just wait until they gives em away, like those cell phones we got. Heck, you figure they would after spendin all that money so’s we could hook em up to the world wide web. Say Clem, when you figure out how to use that there cell phone, make sure you show me. That way, I won’t have to walk over here just so we can sit and chat.


Well, heck.. I’d contribute $100 just to make sure these two clowns had a bathroom, soze they could at least take a friggin’ shower!


ya know if the “clowns” as you put it pay their own way. what do you care? they probably never asked or cared for internet. youre taking your eyes off the real problem. that obo would just continue to throw money anywhere to break us. deception. It personally hacks me off because I live 50 mi. from houston on a main hwy and cant get h.speed so I must 70.a month for a stick internet. when people 4 mi. down the road get it for 25.month