Biden’s $42BN Government-Funded Broadband Disaster Plan Revealed

( – In July 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan measure designed to build the American economy, invest in the US, create more jobs, and make the country more competitive. The law earmarked $65 billion to build the internet infrastructure needed for rural communities and other areas in America without reliable access. Of that, $42.45 billion was allocated to the Broadband Equity, Access and Development (BEAD) program. However, the money has still not been deployed.

In June 2023, the White House divided the $42 billion across the 50 states and territories to ensure every American has high-speed broadband internet access by 2030. Biden said at the time that high-speed internet is “just as important as electricity, or water, or other basic services” in today’s world.

The areas in need had to be mapped before any allocation could occur, which took coordination, time, and effort. At the time, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel praised the mapping team for accomplishing that task, which was a huge “step forward” in the process.

The states and territories need to submit their plans to implement the BEAD program within six months of the allocation notification. Upon approval by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the government will unlock part of the funding — 20%. The rest of the money will be distributed when the plans are finalized, which could go into next year and beyond.

According to the NTIA, which is overseeing the BEAD program, the timeline for implementation from the letter of intent to implementation seems to be running on schedule. However, FCC head Brendan Carr reportedly said the government’s requirements are drawing out the timeline. He said there hasn’t been any physical work done thus far to connect people to high-speed internet. Carr believes there are “too many steps in the process.”

The program takes coordination between the federal government, local and county governments, and broadband providers in each state.

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