Qwest Communications International Inc. said Thursday it is applying for a $350 million federal stimulus grant to help it extend high-speed Internet service to rural areas of its local phone-service region.
There is no reason that tax payers should be forced to subsidize rural internet services. It is nice for farmers and other rural dwellers, but it is not really fair that they should pay less than the cost of service to them at the expense of the taxpayer. If they want this service than the only fair and right thing for them to do is either pay a premium and make it worthwhile for providers like Qwest to provide service in their area or to create a community co-op type of arrangement to get service by pooling resources with other rural people living nearby. the answer is not to turn to welfare to subsidize relatively well off people, and relatively rich corporations like Qwest. Besides the need is diminishing as wireless broadband becomes more widespread. This just becomes a gift to Qwest so their wireline service can more easily compete with wireless services in rural areas without really adding much benefit to the rural dwellers.