White House announces $42-billion spending plan to spread high-speed internet across the country.
- The multibillion-dollar investment will be divided between all 50 states, U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., over the next two years.
- By 2030, the Biden administration plans to provide all Americans with high-speed broadband internet access, Forbes reports.
- The program will prioritize rural communities where internet providers have been reluctant to build infrastructure due to small population sizes.
- States will need to submit bids by the end of the year to receive funding. They must include information about how they would use the money and improve internet access throughout the state.
Why it’s news
Internet access has become just as important as electricity access, yet large portions of the rural U.S. still do not have reliable connections to the internet. This problem was highlighted during COVID when students and workers were forced to work from home. In rural communities, many students missed a full year of schooling because they could not connect to online classes.
It also highlights how President Biden operates: by creating huge and hugely funded government programs to solve problems.
The White House has compared this new investment in high-speed broadband to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. This legislation allowed the federal government to provide electric power companies with loans to build electricity infrastructure affecting the entire country, Forbes reports.
“We all know how difficult life is when electricity goes down after a storm or for other reasons,” White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients says. “For millions of Americans in rural communities, in particular, the internet is down a lot. Sometimes there’s not even any access.”
Backing up a bit
President Biden’s Bidenomics campaign comes amid record-high inflation and growing recession worries. The constant recession fears throughout a large part of his presidency have hurt his approval rating, which sits at just 38%. His approval rating concerning the economy is just 31%, Forbes reports.
The $42 billion comes atop billions more spending from the Inflation Reduction Act and an infrastructure bill. Critics say this will only add to the growing budget deficit, will add to inflation, and is an expense that should be handled by the private sector, which is how the internet is mainly provided to residents.
The Bidenomics campaign suggests that Biden’s policies have brought about “the strongest recovery of any major economy in the world.” As evidence of this, the administration points to improving job growth and booming private-sector manufacturing investments.
This platform also showcases new infrastructure projects started under the Biden administration and decreased prescription drug costs.