Thursday, January 14, 2010

WHAT'S ALL THIS TALK ABOUT GIVING EAGLES RIGHTS? In another har-har at gummint spending, National Review's Veronique de Rugy complains, "$1.8 Million for a Map. Seriously? In the 'crazy ways government is spending our tax dollars' category, this example may be one of the worse items."

She's talking about Connecticut's federal grant for federal broadband mapping, which is not about creating a piece of cartography, but about getting the information necessary to provide high-speed internet access across the county, since private high-speed providers are loathe to provide such information as they have to the public.

One of the sources in the abovelinked Times article is something called Connected Nation, which has been nettled by the Wall Street Journal and others for carrying the water of big carriers who don't want their territory stepped upon. It is generally thought that public oversight will do a better job of mapping than private entities, which have traditionally declined to share their proprietary info. For that reason, private companies' inclusion in state mapping plans has been controversial.

The Connecticut plan to which de Rugy objects will be administrated by the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control. de Rugy might have objected with more reason to the administration of the grant given to Texas, which will be done by Connected Nation. Three guesses why she chose to pick on Connecticut instead.

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