Biden administration wants every American to have access to broadband


Posts: 275   +1
In brief: As part of the American Jobs Plan, the Biden administration wants to give reliable and affordable broadband access to all Americans nationwide. For that to happen, Biden plans to invest $100 billion over eight years in future-proof networks owned by municipalities.

Similar to what the federal government did back in 1936 by "bringing electricity to nearly every home and farm in America," Joe Biden will try to do the same with broadband internet. Given its importance for everyday jobs, school, and health care, it's safe to say that broadband access is crucial for the development of the U.S., and any modern society for that matter.

Despite broadband's importance, there is a huge number of Americans without access to it. According to the White House Fact Sheet, "more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds." Why? Because of the absence of infrastructure in rural areas and tribal lands, as well as due to "some of the highest broadband prices among OECD countries."

As stated by President Joe Biden, "Americans pay too much for the Internet." To fight this, his administration "is committed to working with Congress to find a solution to reduce internet prices for all Americans, increase adoption in both rural and urban areas, hold providers accountable, and save taxpayer money."

The $100 billion investment will also include the construction of "future proof" networks in areas lacking infrastructure to increase coverage. "Providers with less pressure to turn profits and with a commitment to serving entire communities" such as local governments, non-profits, and cooperatives will be prioritized to manage these networks.

In related news, about a month ago there was a call on the FCC to update definition of "high speed" Internet, from the current 25/3 Mbps to at least 100/100 Mbps.

The Biden administration also wants to make pricing and competition among ISPs more transparent by "lifting barriers that prevent municipally-owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing on an even playing field with private providers." Moreover, it plans to enforce internet providers to disclose their pricing, possibly ending hidden fees.

The U.S. government isn't the first planning to cover 100% of the country with broadband access. Starlink's service has been going strong since its beta phase began. In any case, internet users without broadband access will be thankful for it.

Image credit: Compare Fibre

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Posts: 1,569   +3,089
America is too big and too rural to make this happen with just private interests. So either a bunch of ISP infrastructure is nationalized and greatly expanded with public funding, or Mr Biden decided his empty campaign promises were not enough and he wants brand new ones to never fulfill.

This will turn out to be in actual reality, just a bunch of money handed out to ISPs that will in turn do next to nothing if not actually nothing to improve things.

Also any readers please note that I just suggested nationalizing all internet service provided infrastructure, so I suggested the US does a big communism before you think my criticism of Biden comes from "the right" at all.


Posts: 3,024   +4,872
So yet another administration delcaring its intention to pump a few more billion into the telcom industry with no result. Obama waxed poetic about the same issue and did bugger all.

You want to fix the broadband issue? Remove the rules allowing cable companies to establish monopolies with cities and townships. Allow small companies to run fiber and offer service to customers, remove ATT and cable's control over the poles. Allow for cities and states to enforce Local Loop Unbundling to eliminate the infastructure monopoly.

Pumping money into the system does nothing. But politicians refuse to learn from past mistakes.


Posts: 444   +411
So that everyone can be tracked? Having access to the net is great, but it generally comes with many strings attached.


Posts: 607   +604
"For that to happen, Biden plans to invest $100 billion over eight years in future-proof networks owned by municipalities."

Just another step towards communism where the government is in charge of industry and services.


Posts: 436   +561
Honestly with something like Starlink I don't really see the need of physical land line connections for rural America. The Smart move would be to invest more in a global low earth orbit wireless network that is capable of handling the needed bandwidth requirements. As Data caps are currently the downfall of current 4G Networks. This could also allow much needed competition in areas that are pretty much served by two options, cable or dsl. Cable Internet is nearly always the clear choice for internet, in both price and speed. Companies like ATT have no problem pricing their DSL service at the same price as Cable internet for 1/4 of the speed.

Most people do not need Fiber or High throughput cable connection. But someone like me would love a 1gig connection without paying crazy amount for it with high speed cable connection. Fiber is slowly replacing old copper phone lines, but that is a long and slow process.

IMO a service like Starlink that used 4G/5G networks as a optional failover would be a great solution for a reliable internet service.