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Expanding High Speed Internet in 2022

Updated: Mar 25

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022 is a bipartisan law that was passed under the Biden administration. The law, also known as the Biden-Harris Internet for All Initiative, is a long-term investment in several infrastructure projects, including an increase in the accessibility of high-speed internet. This initiative will put $65 billion toward expanding efficient internet access, an effort that was propelled by the realization that internet connection is not a luxury, but a necessity, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


According to a Fact Sheet released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this is an initiative that is expected to help more than 30 million Americans gain access to high-speed internet. The focus on expanding high-speed internet access aims to lessen the “digital divide,” which refers to the gap between people who can cover the increasing cost of high-speed internet and people who cannot. 


This initiative is headed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). As of March 13, the NTIA launched three programs through which people can apply for funding to help pay for internet and broadband infrastructure: the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, and the State Digital Equity Act Program. These programs will be given $42.5 million, $1 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively. BEAD is a resource for states, territories and others to help develop infrastructure.


The other two projects focus more on individual Americans, with the Middle Mile program funding projects in hopes of obtaining better internet connection for specific communities and the Digital Equity Act Program providing services such as digital literacy training. Lastly, the initiative also calls for service providers to charge $30 or less per month for internet for households that qualify for the program through the Affordable Connectivity Program. 


Sources


“FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” Initiative: Bringing affordable, reliable high-speed internet to everyone in America.” InternatForAll, 13 May 2022, https://www.internetforall.gov/sites/default/files/2022-05/Fact%20Sheet%20-%20IFA%20Launch_0.pdf. Accessed 31 May 2022. 


Lobosco, Katie. “What Biden’s infrastructure law has done so far.” CNN, 27 Feb. 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/27/politics/biden-infrastructure-law/index.html. Accessed 26 May 2022.


“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.” The White House, https://www.whitehouse.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/. Accessed 26 May 2022. 

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