President Joe Biden announced on Monday a $42 billion plan to expand access to high-speed internet across the United States. The initiative, called “Internet for All,” is part of Biden’s broader effort to invest in infrastructure and create jobs.
The money will be distributed over the next two years through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. It was already allocated by Congress through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is governed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Texas will receive the greatest financial share ($3.3 billion). A total of 18 other states, including Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, will get more than $1 billion. Each state will receive a minimum of $107 million. The initiative covers a number of US territory, with $334 million set aside for Puerto Rico and $27 million going to the US Virgin Islands.
“With these allocations and other Biden administration investments, all 50 states, DC and the territories now have the resources to connect every resident and small business to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030,” the White House said in a statement.
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States, municipalities, and tribal governments will get funds through the plan to create new broadband networks and upgrade current ones. Additionally, subsidies will be offered to assist low-income households in paying for internet access.
Millions of employment in the construction and IT industries are anticipated to be created under the strategy. Additionally, it is anticipated to increase productivity and economic growth.
White House chief of staff Jeff Zients compared the drive for widespread connectivity to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, when the federal government set up the electric utility lines that brought light to the rural areas across the U.S. Zients claimed that having access to high-speed internet is as essential to daily life as electricity.
According to Biden, the program will “close the digital divide” and ensure that every American has access to the internet.
Here are some of the key details of the plan:
- $30 billion will be used to build new broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas.
- $10 billion will be used to improve existing broadband networks.
- $5 billion will be used to provide subsidies to help low-income households afford internet service.
- $7 billion will be used to support research and development in broadband technology.
The plan is expected to close the digital divide and ensure that everyone in America has access to the internet. It is also expected to create millions of jobs and boost economic growth.