FEEDBACK:  Little guys didn’t get broadband subsidies

To the editor:

I owned a rural fixed wireless company in Rural North Carolina serving areas that the big companies would not serve. The costs of delivering the service was something the big companies would not absorb. We delivered high-speed Internet in several DownEast counties of North Carolina. There were no subsidies of any kind to a small company doing what the big companies are now being paid to do.

At the time, the big companies were, and still are, receiving federal subsidies for regular phone service in rural areas. So we competed against the big companies who were subsidized for the regular phone service with its so called “dial up” slower internet service.

I talked with the folks at the FCC in Washington, D.C., about this discrepancy: subsidizing the old technology to compete against the new. They said they had never thought about it that way. But there was no consideration that they would do so.

Now, surprise: the big companies receive subsidies for both the older rural phone service and the “new” technology for high-speed Internet in the rural areas. But it is not really new. What is new? The subsidy for the big companies.

The little companies like mine just lost money, private money and gave up. Most did not make it.

— David Sweatt, Greenville, S.C.

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