In an ambitious move aimed at fostering digital equality, the U.S. government has earmarked $42 billion to ensure nationwide access to high-speed broadband by 2030. This funding allocation is part of the new promotional campaign for President Joe Biden’s economic policies, seeking to underscore the commitment to digital infrastructure.
Reuters reports that the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program, under the umbrella of the $1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law endorsed by Biden, is the vehicle for this transformation. The funding allocation will utilize the freshly unveiled Federal Communications Commission coverage map to identify and address existing gaps in broadband access.
The lion’s share of the funding is allocated to the two most populous states in the U.S. – Texas and California, set to receive $3.1 billion and $1.9 billion respectively. However, less populous states with significant rural territories such as Virginia, Alabama, and Louisiana also feature in the top ten funding recipients due to their lack of comprehensive broadband coverage.
In a recent address at the White House, Biden highlighted the significance of this allocation, asserting it to be the “biggest investment in high-speed internet ever.” He likened internet access to fundamental services such as electricity and water, stressing its importance in the contemporary economy.
Allocations under this initiative range broadly, with territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands receiving $27 million, while Texas will see more than $3.3 billion. The minimum funding allocated to any state stands at $107 million, underlining the breadth of this digital expansion.
This announcement marks the beginning of the second leg of Biden’s tour that aims to showcase the real-world impact of legislation passed under his Democratic Party’s control on everyday Americans. This comes as part of his strategic communication efforts, as he prepares for his 2024 re-election bid.