President Joe Biden has called on Congress to spend $100 billion to expand high-speed broadband Internet access to all citizens in the entire United States. This infrastructure investment would aim drive down Internet pricing while steering away funding from companies currently providing Internet services.
The $100 billion broadband Internet infrastructure investment is part of a 2 trillion infrastructure investment package in total.
Biden’s plan would bring ‘next-generation’ broadband Internet infrastructure to unserved areas as well. The ambitious investment plan is focusing its support on networks ‘owned, operated by, or affiliated with municipal governments, non-profits, and co-operatives.’
The focus would not be so much on turning these broadband Internet infrastructure projects into profit. Main focus should be on providing all American citizens with high-end Internet access at reasonable prices.
100Mbp/s Internet Speeds?
In their letter to the White House, a group of U.S. senators has stated that that the current high-speed standard of 25Mbp/s would be insufficient. In this letter they urged support for a goal of 100Mbp/s. Biden’s fact sheet as revealed by the White House didn’t specify any minimum speeds for broadband networks built under the plan though.
At the end of 2019, the number of American citizens without access to proper Internet – with speeds of at least 25Mbps – had fallen to 14.5 million. That’s what the Federal Communications Commission stated last January.
Internet Price Transparency
The $100 billion infrastructure investment plan would also seek to promote price transparency and competition among Internet providers. It’s expected that Internet providers will be asked to disclose the prices they charge.
Biden’s $100 billion broadband proposal is part of the American Jobs Plan. This plan has been revealed by the White House today. It can be read here. These broadband details as released so far are still a bit vague. The infrastructure plan could be changed in Congress, but even then, it’s a plan probably welcomed by many Internet users across the United States whereas ISPs might not be too happy about it.