Biden Set to Unveil Blueprint for $42 Billion Investment in Expanding US Internet Access

Source: REUTERS/Amira Karaoud/File photo

On Monday, President Joe Biden is set to announce how $42 billion will be allocated to expand internet access across all 50 states in an effort to ensure high-speed broadband for all Americans by 2030. This marks the beginning of Biden’s campaign to showcase the impact of legislation passed during his term on everyday Americans as he gears up for reelection.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Our commitment to realizing this potential is evident in our everyday work, ensuring that individuals and communities feel the impact at their kitchen tables and in their own backyards,” stated White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, drawing a parallel to President Franklin Roosevelt’s initiative to bring electricity to rural areas in 1936.

The administration estimates that approximately 8.5 million locations in the U.S. lack broadband access. However, broadband providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Charter Communications, and AT&T have been hesitant to invest in low-population rural areas due to the high costs involved and the limited number of potential subscribers.

The importance of broadband access was emphasized during the COVID-19 pandemic when students were forced into online learning. To address this issue, the Biden administration plans to distribute the $42 billion funding to each state based on a recently released Federal Communications Commission coverage map, highlighting areas with limited access. States are expected to submit initial plans later this year, which will unlock 20% of the funding. The remaining funds will be released once the plans are finalized, a process that could extend until 2025.

In addition to the broadband announcement, President Biden will deliver a significant economic speech in Chicago on Wednesday. This speech, coined as “Bidenomics,” will focus on the president’s efforts to strengthen the middle class rather than benefiting the wealthy. Advisors Anita Dunn and Mike Donilon expressed that since Biden took office, the economy has added over 13 million jobs, including almost 800,000 manufacturing positions.

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