Monday, August 26, 2013

These things happen for reasons

This morning's WWL radio news blurb says:
Census figures show that about thirty percent of Americans don't own a computer or smart phone with Internet access,and never get online.  That number is even higher in more rural states, including Louisiana.

"It's a damn shame, it does nothing but hurt the people of Louisiana," Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell said.

Census Bureau information shows that nearly 34% of Louisiana residents do not use the Internet.

Campbell says part of the problem is that service is not available in the most rural parts of the state where providers don't want to make the investment.

"The money is not there and that's why we don't have all the connected spots we need, because it's not profitable," Campbell said.
It is a "damn shame."  But it's also a shame WWL doesn't complete the story.  Because there's a reason this happened. See, at one time, there was money available to bring broadband access to rural areas where it might not be super profitable for telecoms to provide it on their own accord.  But Bobby Jindal turned that down for absurd ideological reasons.  
"This grant called for a heavy-handed approach from the federal government that would have undermined and taken over private businesses," said Jindal. "We have an administration in Washington that wants to run car companies, banks, our entire health care system and now they want to take over the broadband business. We won't stand for that in Louisiana."
This stubborn refusal to provide constituents with a vital service  one of many reasons Jindal is America's Most Unpopular Governor right now.  But the "principled conservative stance" is also a reason he's still talked about as a "rising star" in the Washington press.  Funny how that works.

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