A huge new trillion-dollar infrastructure bill has made it through Congress and was presented to President Joe Biden on Nov. 8. And when he signs the bill into law, millions of internet users likely will benefit.
Tucked into the bill, which is known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is more than $50 billion in funding for broadband service.
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes a commitment of $42 billion to deploy broadband where it doesn’t yet exist. Where broadband is available, it promises another $14.2 billion to create a permanent $30-a-month-subsidy program to help low-income Americans afford service.”
In addition, the bill earmarks an additional $2.75 billion for what CNET describes as “digital equity and inclusion efforts” that are aimed at providing better internet service in low-income efforts. Some say internet service providers avoid lower-income areas because they don’t think they will make much money there.
A federal law created in December 2020 included a subsidy to help lower-income households pay for broadband internet connections. AARP reports that more than 7 million families signed up for this perk, and 40% of those households included someone who is age 50 and older.
The new infrastructure bill will make that subsidy permanent, dubbing it the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Even if you cannot benefit from the new bill’s provisions, you likely can trim the cost of your internet service in other ways. For more, check out “9 Ways to Lower Your Internet Bill.”