President Joe Biden unveiled a plan to “revitalize America’s digital infrastructure” on Wednesday that focuses on bringing affordable broadband service to those who lack it.
Calling broadband “the new electricity” and noting it is necessary for adults to work and children to learn, Biden wants to bring high-speed internet access to more than 30 million Americans who live in areas where broadband is not available at “minimally acceptable speeds.”
He notes that there is a stark “digital divide” in urban areas that leaves Black and Latino populations underserved. Biden also says he wants to bring more robust internet access to those who live on tribal lands and in rural areas.
The $100 billion proposal would include three major components.
1. Build high-speed infrastructure that reaches everyone
Biden’s plan prioritizes support for broadband networks that are “owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives — providers with less pressure to turn profits and with a commitment to serving entire communities.”
2. Promote transparency and competition
The plan aims to “promote price transparency and competition among internet providers.”
Biden says he will remove barriers that prevent municipally owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing “on an even playing field” with private internet service providers.
The administration also intends to make internet providers clearly disclose all prices they charge.
3. Reduce the cost of broadband internet service
Biden wants to ensure that every American can afford “high-quality and reliable broadband internet.”
In releasing his plan, the president says he does not want to rely long-term on providing subsidies that help customers afford internet service. Instead, he says he wants to work with Congress to find a way to lower internet costs.
“Americans pay too much for the internet — much more than people in many other countries,” the plan states.
For ways to cut your online costs in the meantime, check out “8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill.”
For more on the president’s latest proposals, check out “How Biden’s New Jobs Plan Would Help Seniors.”