June 23, 2021

Report: “Biden Plans to Connect Every American to Broadband in New Infrastructure Package”

From The Verge:

President Biden plans to announce a sweeping infrastructure plan Wednesday that includes $100 billion to connect every American to high-speed broadband internet over the next eight years.

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Biden’s $100 billion figure for broadband expansion trumps most other efforts to finish connecting every household in the US to the internet. Earlier this month, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) announced their own bill that would invest $94 billion to close the digital divide. In previous years, the Federal Communications Commission has put together more than $20 billion to reward cooperatives, satellite operators, and other telecoms who launch broadband projects in unserved areas.

Biden’s package also calls for 100 percent broadband coverage by the end of the decade and prioritizes networks affiliated with local governments, nonprofits and cooperatives and promises funding for projects on tribal lands. Biden’s broadband plan also seeks to encourage adoption by reducing the cost of internet service long term.

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More From News.com/CNET:

The infrastructure package, which will cost $2 trillion over eight years, includes money for a wide range of projects, from improving and maintaining roads, bridges and waterways to spending $100 billion over the next eight years to deploy broadband throughout rural America, according to the White House on Wednesday. Biden’s plan would also help subsidize the cost of broadband for low-income individuals in an effort to make broadband more affordable.

“Broadband internet is the new electricity,” the White House said. “It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected.”

The White House fact sheet detailing aspects of the plan highlights the fact that more than 30 million Americans live in areas without any access to broadband. And in urban and suburban markets where broadband is available, it’s often too expensive. This reality hits minority families harder than white families, creating digital inequities. The coronavirus pandemic, which led to shutdowns across the country, made the issues even more apparent, especially for students who struggled to connect to the internet for distance learning.

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See Also: White House Factsheet

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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