The administration’s initial budget for the broadband project is $100 billion.
On Wednesday, July 28, US President Joe Biden officially reached a deal with the Senate to allocate at least $65 billion funds to the government’s broadband projects. Surprisingly, this was already lower than the original proposed budget of $100 billion.
The said proposal is under the federal government’s new infrastructure deal. Once implemented, the said project will “ensure that every American has access to both reliable and high-speed internet going forward.”
Biden’s new infrastructure project
The new broadband allocation fund is included in President Biden’s ‘Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.’ The Senate’s signed project deal costs up to $1.2 trillion. This allocation was already dedicated for the next eight years.
The $65 billion from the said fund will be reportedly allocated to give Americans more stable internet services.
According to the White House press release, more than 30 million Americans experience terrible internet connections. This was happening since their areas have no nearby broadband satellites to give a boost to their connection. Due to this, the fund sets to build infrastructures to build more satellites near those areas.
Though the allocated budget seemed to be enough in boosting the country’s internet services, The Verge reported that this was not the promised budget that President Biden first said. His initial funding, back in March, was said to be $100 billion for the broadband project.
Digital Equity Act
In line with the proposed funding for the broadband project, the package will also include updates on the proposed Digital Equity Act. This bill will create a new program to subsidize the cost of broadband for low-income families along with a new program to help pay for devices like laptops and tablets.
Apart from that, the Bipartisan infrastructure Deal will also help lower prices for internet service by requiring funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan. This means the internet providers are required by law to highlight price transparency on different internet plans.
The US government will also boost competition to these companies. Once the consumer understands their prices, the company will be required to lower their charges to attract more customers.
Other infrastructure developments
Aside from the broadband project of the administration, the fund will also make projects in constructing roads and bridges.
Based on the White House press release, the fund will be dedicated to:
- Make the largest federal investment in public transit ever
- Make the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak
- Make the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system
- Make the largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in American history, delivering clean water to millions of families
- Help tackle the climate crisis by making the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in history; electrifying thousands of school and transit buses across the country; and creating a new Grid Deployment Authority to build a clean, 21st-century electric grid
So far, the US government has not yet detailed the press on when the projects will start or when they will be expected to end.