Today, President Joe Biden unveiled a massive infrastructure package that dedicates $100 billion to “bring[ing] affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American.” Public Knowledge commends President Biden for recognizing that high-speed, affordable broadband is an essential service that people need to thrive in modern society — and that no one should be left behind in the digital era.
The broadband proposal, part of President Biden’s multi-trillion “American Jobs Plan,” aims to:
- Empower state, local, and Tribal governments to either build their own networks or partner with a broad range of providers to build high-speed, “future-proof” broadband infrastructure to reach 100 percent coverage.
- Promote price transparency and competition among broadband providers. This includes requiring broadband providers to “clearly disclose the prices they charge.”
- Reduce the cost of high-speed broadband service so that “every American who wants to can afford high-quality and reliable broadband internet.”
The following can be attributed to Greg Guice, Government Affairs Director at Public Knowledge:
“President Biden’s $100 billion infrastructure plan acknowledges an important fact about broadband today — it is an essential service, like water and electricity, and our public policy should reflect that fact. By providing state, local, and Tribal governments funding and the flexibility necessary to ensure citizens have access to robust, future-proof networks, this plan will help us close the digital divide.
“Additionally, the plan focuses on the affordability barrier of the digital divide by calling for price transparency and efforts to promote competition. As President Biden acknowledges, Americans pay too much for internet access — much more than people in many other countries. By giving consumers transparent pricing, people can make informed decisions about the cost of their broadband service. This would allow consumers at all income levels to benefit from more affordable broadband. We look forward to working with the administration and members of Congress as they seek to pass this bold initiative to close the digital divide.”