back to article FCC shifts its $8bn pot of gold, sparks fears of corporate money grab

This week, one year after the US government's General Accountability Office (GAO) formally recommended that it do so, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved $8bn it held in a private bank to the US Treasury. But even though the move has long been planned for and anticipated, it has caused a furious reaction from the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its always interesting how a pro-free-markets country

    Manages to convince itself that its ok to have socialism for corporations!

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Its always interesting how a pro-free-markets country

      The US is not really a pro-free market nation. We're more in line with a corporatocracy. All that free market talk is just the sales pitch.

    2. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Its always interesting how a pro-free-markets country

      Free market is obviously a misnomer.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its always interesting how a pro-free-markets country

      More like your average third world country, just with more money

    4. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Its always interesting how a pro-free-markets country

      A couple sentences in this piece caught my eye:

      ...money being pulled away from citizens and given to giant corporations...

      Is pretty much what the US is set up to do.

      Also:

      ...the FCC Republican leadership is, like many Republicans, opposed to any form of subsidy program...

      Is completely untrue. They are opposed to subsidies to corporations who do not kick money back in the form of "campaign contributions". Also it is "programme".

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    Reasonable fear

    Since Pai's entire reason for being is to bring as much benefit to the major telecoms as possible, it's not unreasonable to be very nervous about this.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Florida1920 Silver badge

    No wonder

    Trump admires Chairman Xi so much.

    Trump is determined to bring about single-party rule, an Executive Branch with unlimited powers, and media that only sing the Party song. Just listen to what he says: the media is the "enemy of the people," he should be able to dictate policy to the Justice Department, and the opposition party is "un-American and treasonous."

    Make America Great?

  5. niio

    Overcharge

    So the FCC has a $9bn fund which pays all intended recipients with $1.5bn a year. Maybe they should quit collecting the money for six years.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Overcharge

      "Maybe they should quit collecting the money for six years."

      Maybe they should quit collecting the money for six years AND SCRAP THE PROGRAM

      fixed it for ya.

      This "program" (aka wealth transfer of O.P.M. to buy votes) has CERTAINLY outlived its usefulness (if it ever had any), especially with how cheap cell phones are these days... [and WHY should _I_ pay for SOMEONE! ELSE'S! PHONE! LINE! with TAXES???].

      if you don't make a boatload of calls, you can get a <$50 phone with pre-paid from AT&T for $100/year. that's what I have, actually. works for me, just fine.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Overcharge

        [and WHY should _I_ pay for SOMEONE! ELSE'S! PHONE! LINE! with TAXES???]

        Because they can't afford it and you can. It's a different attitude to "FUCK YOU ALL, THIS IS ALL MINE", but in many scenarios it works quite well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Overcharge

          "Because they can't afford it and you can. It's a different attitude to "FUCK YOU ALL, THIS IS ALL MINE", but in many scenarios it works quite well."

          No argument that people need a cell phone - in an emergency there's nothing that substitutes for readily available communication. But where is the line between 'need' and 'want'? Smart phones with data plans fall into a 'want' zone to me, personally - I haven't heard a compelling argument for them being a 'need' to this point.

          And I'm not enticed by a societal structure where everyone puts everything they earn in a communal pot for everyone to draw from. Why work harder, strive to improve yourself, when there is no gain? No even just to myself, but to the whole - an incremental increase by me is insubstantial to the massive group whole.

  6. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Its

    Pai Day!

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Trump is just the revelator

    The fact that Trump has been able to place his croonies in all key positions and have them dance to the corporate tune is just the measure of how utterly corrupt US Government is.

    If the Government was functioning properly, this would not happen because there would be checks and balances to the power of whoever is in place. Those checks and balances are the first thing that were undermined long ago by individuals who had their eyes set on delicious bags of money rather than the duty of serving the public.

    Decades of this influence has brought us here.

    Drain the swamp indeed. Start by everyone who works for Trump, then go on to forbid corporate representatives from even entering in communication with any government official. Make it a federal crime.

    Then, and only then, will you start being able to claw back your democracy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trump is just the revelator

      I'm starting to wonder if the Trump Presidency will be looked back on by future generations as the ultimate satire. So much of the building partisan BS we've been seeing for administration after administration is finally reaching the point where it's so blatant that it is comical. The only question left is if people will learn anything from it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FCC using the Superman III plot to steal billions

  9. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    Travel to USA - nope!

    It would seem that in this case the people are the enemy of the people. Trump wants the USA to be an elite invitation-only club like his tacky, gold plated establishments.

    I honestly hope that the fat bastard gets struck by lightning while playing golf.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the UK really any better. The government hands out money like candy to BT for them to use to enhance their monopoly while never actually doing anything about broadband access in hard to reach areas, and that money is just coming from tax payers so it's no better. At least in the US this amount to users paying a charge to invest in future telecoms infrastructure..... which they can be charged for again :o)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interest

    Why doesn't the treasury pay interest?

    I know the us system of money is an elaborate scam with the national reserve and all that (Google YouTube American money conspiracy ) /s

    But still 50 mill a year is only turned down by governments.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Interest

      Err... the Treasury Department pays one helluva lot in interest towards the deficit budgets Congress passes. In government, 50 million is chump change... 50 Billion is apparently at that level now.

  12. DanceMan

    Corporate Welfare

    Welfare is bad, except when it goes to corporations.

  13. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    You have to pay for the recent tax cuts somehow...

    I bet this is part of some Treasury Department gimmick to make a small dent in the deficit, now that the recent tax cuts are blowing it up.

  14. Tom Paine Silver badge

    mobile data vs fixed line broadband

    ludicrous claim that mobile internet is equivalent to fixed-line broadband.

    Pai sounds shady like a palm tree, and god knows the US internet access market is broken, but I'm a pedant so I'm just wondering about this phrase. Why's it ludicrous? Is 4G coverage not widely available? I've been using my phone's wifi hotspot as sole net connection at home (in the UK) for almost 5 years. Apart from making sure I've a backup phone and SIM to cover for the inevitable smashed screens and lost / nicked devices, it works perfectly well enough for my purposes. (Admittedly I don't watch much telly online, or indeed any other way.) No doubt the local cell station will go down at some point, but a friend round the corner on Virgin cable access has had at least half a dozen outages in the time I've been here.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprise

    So the same people that smell sinister in every breath taken by this admin smell sinister in a plan started before it took over...

    This is my shocked face.

    The Rag... err... Reg uses hyperbole and supposition ("it's only a matter of time..." [cue Star Wars music]) to claim their right. This is my doubly shocked face.

    ::rolleyes::

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Surprise

      Are you still taking the dried frog pills ?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Surprise

        Are you still taking the dried frog pills ?

        No - the sole FDA-approved manufacturer got bought out and the new owner raised the price by 5000%..

        (Just one of the many, many reasons why I'm glad I don't live in the US. I'd be paying more than my years salary for health insurance+medicines - if I could get insured. Which, now that some states allow people with pre-existing conditions to be refused cover, I probably wouldn't be. So, at best, I'd be bed-ridden. Worst case, I'd be dead from long-term hyperglycaemia)

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  18. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Pai has a tattoo, made in the U.S oF A$$, by The Telecoms Industry !

  19. maffski

    Only in politics can this make sense...

    ...giving money to corporation to make slow broadband permanently faster = bad

    ...giving money to corporation to make slow broadband temporarily cheaper = good

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