Biden Administration Announces $42 Billion Investment in US Broadband Access
WASHINGTON - The Biden administration has outlined plans for a substantial $42 billion investment aimed at significantly expanding high-speed broadband access across the United States by 2030.
The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program will oversee the allocation of the funds, with distribution informed by a newly-developed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) coverage map. This map highlights areas currently suffering from inadequate broadband access.
States with significant broadband access gaps like Texas, set to receive $3.1 billion, and California, allocated $1.9 billion, are among the most substantial beneficiaries. Other states, including Virginia, Alabama, and Louisiana, are also slated to receive significant funding to enhance their broadband infrastructure.
This ambitious initiative is part of President Biden's broader campaign to underscore the benefits of legislation enacted during his term, as he gears up for potential re-election in 2024.
The administration likens the broadband initiative to President Roosevelt's 1936 Rural Electrification Act, aiming to bring internet connectivity to rural America in much the same way Roosevelt sought to electrify it nearly a century ago.
Approximately 8.5 million locations in the U.S. currently lack access to reliable broadband connections, a gap the Biden administration seeks to close. Rural areas have historically been underserved by broadband providers, due to the high costs and low subscriber numbers.
States will be required to submit preliminary plans to secure 20% of their allocated funding. Once plans are finalized, which could be as early as 2025, the remaining funds will be released.
The investment announcement comes ahead of a major economic speech by President Biden in Chicago. There, the President is expected to highlight "Bidenomics" - his approach to economic growth, which emphasizes the prosperity of the middle class over the wealth of the top echelon.
According to senior advisors Anita Dunn and Mike Donilon, the economy has added over 13 million jobs since Biden took office, including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs.