The Biden administration is taking the first steps toward allocating $45 billion to ensure that every American has high-speed internet by 2028, encouraging governors and other leaders to begin the application process on Friday.
The Biden administration would set aside $ 45 billion for national Internet access
And in this day and age, you can’t go to school, the hospital, or do simple things without high-speed internet. Consider how often you Google something or go online in a day.
The distribution is being overseen by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who said that universal access to broadband internet will be comparable to the electrification of rural America in the 1930s, indicating that the internet is a utility that Americans need to function in today’s economy.
The funding is part of the $65 billion for broadband in the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Joe Biden signed into law last November.
Former President Donald Trump has dismissed the infrastructure spending as fake even though the broadband spending was one of his own priorities.
That bipartisan package is one of the policy achievements that the Democratic president is trying to sell to voters ahead of the mid-term elections, though it’s unclear how much the message will resonate when much of the country is focused on high inflation, cultural differences and political identity.
His Agriculture Department said in 2020 that it had invested $744 million on rural internet connectivity, a sum that was meaningful yet insufficient.
Raimondo is travelling to Durham, North Carolina. She’ll announce that governors can send their letters of intent to receive the broadband money, which comes from three programmes totalling $ 45 billion.
Each state would then get $ 5 million to help it consult with residents and write its plan. The Commerce Department recognises that internet needs vary by state. The money could be used to lay fibre optic cable, build out Wi-Fi hotspots or even reduce monthly charges in places where price is the main challenge.
After the administration’s announcement on Monday that it would provide a USD 30 monthly subsidy to low-income households, Raimondo noted that states could use the additional money from these programs to make the service free to some users. The allocations would also be influenced by the Federal Communications Commission this fall releasing new maps that detail where people lack internet service or are under-served.
Governors and other leaders would then have six months to use this data to shape their final applications. States and eligible areas are guaranteed a minimum of $100 million, though the average payment would be closer to $800 million, according to rough estimates from the Commerce Department. The goal is to have states lay out a five-year timeline to provide full internet access, while ensuring affordable internet access and promoting competition among providers.
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