US President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators have reached a deal regarding a new infrastructure package that will also include billions to improve the country's broadband connectivity (opens in new tab).
As reported (opens in new tab) by The Verge, the entire infrastructure package will cost $1.2tn over the next eight years and will include close to $559bn in new spending.
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While roads, bridges, public transit and other infrastructure items will be included in the bill, so too will funding to expand broadband access throughout the country and especially in rural communities (opens in new tab) according to a new press release (opens in new tab) from the White House.
Ensuring access to high-speed internet
According to the White House's press release, more than 30m Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure and as a result, they don't have access to high-speed internet (opens in new tab).
Thankfully, President Biden's infrastructure deal will allocate $65bn to ensure that every American has access to both reliable and high-speed internet going forward. While $65bn is quite a lot of money, this figure does fall short of the $100bn that the US government had pledged to spend (opens in new tab) on broadband back in April of this year.
The bill will also require internet service providers to offer a low-cost affordable plan and comparison tools to help families get the best deal when shopping for internet.
We'll have to wait and see how the funding from President Biden's infrastructure deal is used to provide Americans access to high-speed internet but as the FCC is currently without a chairperson after Ajit Pai stepped down (opens in new tab) earlier this year, it might prove difficult to get the ball rolling.
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Via The Verge (opens in new tab)