Elon Musk torches ‘outrageous waste of taxpayer money’ after Biden’s $42 billion program fails to provide internet in 3 years

News & Politics

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk ridiculed the Biden administration for spending more than $42 billion while failing to provide high-speed internet to any home or business after three years.

The Washington Times reported the abject failure of the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program, which was supposed to provide internet to rural communities. The BEAD program was a part of President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was passed in Nov. 2021.

‘The Biden administration decided to layer on top of that a Byzantine additional set of hoops that states have to go through.’

“There hasn’t been a single shovel’s worth of dirt that has even been turned towards connecting people,” said Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr.

Musk responded to a social media comment that noted the price tag of the failed program was so high that they could have supplied 140 million Starlink dishes to nearly half of the U.S. population instead.

“This government program is an outrageous waste of taxpayer money and is utterly failing to serve people in need,” wrote Musk on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Starlink is a network of satellites in low orbit that provide internet to subscribers, many of whom live in rural areas. It was developed by aerospace company SpaceX, which was founded and owned by Elon Musk.

The implementation of the Biden program has been stymied by over-regulation. A timeline released by program officials said they expect the project to begin modernization between 2025 and 2026 and reach completion in 2030, nine years after it was approved by Congress.

Carr criticized the regulation in a comment to Fox Business.

“There’s no question that the 2021 law put some process in place, but the Biden administration decided to layer on top of that a Byzantine additional set of hoops that states have to go through before the administration will approve them to actually get these funds and start completing the builds,” Carr said.

Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, and Starlink was first launched in 2019.

Although the billionaire provided Starlink internet to Ukrainian forces in the wake of the Russian invasion, he was later criticized when it appeared that he shut down the service ahead of a military strike against Russian forces in order to avoid escalating the war.

“The Starlink regions in question were not activated. SpaceX did not deactivate anything,” Musk responded to the accusations in Sept. 2023.

“There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastapol,” he added. “The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor. If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

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