Spending in the Garden State is way up and that means the next round of tax hikes isn't far behind.

The government's appetite for control and spending has only increased with what they got away with during two years of lockdowns. In the latest boondoggle, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority wants to spend $30 million dollars on what is called a "Middle Mile".

The challenge is that a middle-mile network doesn’t connect to homes or small businesses.

As a friend put it to me, "It's like a highway without exit ramps." Those "exit ramps" or local connections, would need to be built by another Internet Service Provider to make the network useful.

So far, even though the Authority is pushing to spend the money now, no private ISP has agreed to partner with the County on this network. As my friend Rosemary Becchi put it, that makes the project a “network to nowhere.”

The only potential customer of this network is the city of Vineland, which would need to put taxpayers' tens of millions into debt to build a government-run broadband network.

Rosemary founded an outstanding organization "Jersey First" in 2018 and joined me to discuss her position and research on this issue.

Her take put simply is that government entities are simply not well-equipped to build a broadband network successfully. While it may sound good, these taxpayer-funded projects often fail due to underestimated buildout costs, subscriber rates falling short of projections, and irresponsible borrowing.

In 2020, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance issued a report which documented failures of municipal-owned broadband systems. It stated that the majority of these efforts failed, and can result in massive debt, waste, and broken promises.

Additionally, these projects often use taxpayer funds to compete unfairly against private businesses, where they also offer high-speed internet. Let's restore common sense to the government and stop reckless and unnecessary spending that delivers nothing and only costs taxpayers more.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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