Friday, May 1, 2020

House Dems Unveil Broader Affordable Broadband Package

Top House Democrats Thursday expanded their more than $80 billion plan to connect all Americans to affordable broadband. Top Dems, including Frank Pallone, Jr. of NJ, Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee, and Congressman James Clyburn of SC, House Majority Whip and Chairman of the House Democratic Rural Broadband Task Force, said they welcome recent reports that Republicans support the inclusion of broadband investment in the next coronavirus response packages.

The House Democratic Plan to Connect All Americans to Affordable Broadband Internet invests $80 billion over five years to deploy secure and resilient broadband infrastructure to connect unserved and underserved rural, suburban, and urban areas. If passed, $5 billion over five years would be invested for low-interest financing of broadband deployment through a new program, so providers could apply for secured loans, lines of credit, or loan guarantees to finance broadband infrastructure build outs.

It also includes Dig Once, which promotes the installation of broadband conduit during the construction of any road receiving federal funding. The Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth would be established within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to streamline the application processes for broadband funding programs. Continue Reading

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