According to Reuters, US President Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to invest 100 billion US dollars within six months to expand high-speed broadband access to the entire United States. Biden said his plan is to reduce broadband prices and steer funds away from companies that provide the Internet.
Biden is scheduled to announce its $2 trillion “American Jobs Plan” in Pittsburgh later on Wednesday. This long-awaited infrastructure and employment plan includes funding for broadband expansion; semiconductor manufacturing, public transportation, and helping consumers buy electric vehicles and other benefits.
Biden delivered a speech in Pittsburgh: “Americans have paid too much for Internet services, so we will reduce the service prices of existing broadband homes.”
The White House stated that Biden’s plan will establish a “future-oriented” broadband infrastructure in service-free areas, and focus on supporting networks “owned, operated or affiliated by local governments, non-profit organizations, and cooperatives”, noting that they are “turning around. The pressure on profit is relatively small”.
The head of the NCTA, the Internet and Television Industry Association trade organization, Michael Powell said that the White House “risked serious mistakes and abandoned decades of successful policies, believing that the government is more suitable for building and operating the Internet than private-sector technicians.”
Powell said that while the government does play a role in providing networks to underserved areas and helping low-income households pay for the network, “whether it is prioritizing government-owned networks or micro-management of private networks, and I t is all wrong to assert that the government should manage prices.”
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stated in January this year that by the end of 2019, the number of users whose internet speed was less than 25/3 Mbps had fallen to about 14.5 million. A group of U.S. senators said in a letter to the White House earlier this month that uploading speeds of 25Mbps and up to 3Mbps are not sufficient as high-speed standards; they urged support to achieve the 100Mbps goal.
FCC Acting Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel tweeted: “I’m going all out to reach 100% broadband coverage.”
Public Knowledge, a propaganda organization, praised Biden’s plan because it recognizes that “high-speed, affordable broadband is a basic service necessary for people to thrive in modern society.”