INCOMPAS and BroadLand Applaud Broadband Infrastructure Deal
Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators announced they have reached an agreement on infrastructure legislation. Last night the final text was released, and the Senate is expected to vote it this week.
The White House has said the deal will prioritize speed, price and competition, according to a fact sheet. On broadband, the White House said the framework invests $65 billion to ensure every American has access to reliable high-speed internet and helps lower prices for internet service by:
Requiring funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan; creating price transparency
Helping families comparison shop
Boosting competition in areas where existing providers are not providing adequate service
The White House also said the framework will help close the digital divide by passing the Digital Equity Act, ending digital redlining and creating a permanent program to help more low-income households access the internet.
“America needs more competition and faster future-proof broadband networks, built fast. Every second we delay, consumers and small businesses suffer with expensive slow services that will not support the jobs of the future," said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS and co-chair of the BroadLand campaign. "While important details remain, a compromise infrastructure agreement that improves speeds, affordability and competition has the potential to help all Americans, rural and urban, connect to a better tomorrow. I want to applaud Senator Portman for leading this bipartisan effort, and Senators King and Bennet for demanding that tax dollars get spent on faster future-proof broadband that will help all Americans, expand 5G and enable small businesses to compete with the rest of the world.”
Mignon Clyburn, co-chair of the BroadLand campaign, added, "The Senate bipartisan compromise is a first step toward building broadband equality, but more will need to be done to close the digital divide and bring competition, lower prices and faster speeds to each and every American. Internet for all must be our goal, and competition our guide as we seek permanent solutions to access and affordability.”
New Broadland Video Shows
Global Race for Faster Broadband
The global race for faster broadband speeds is on, and the United States has some catching up to do. In a new video released by the BroadLand campaign from INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, runners from China, Europe and the U.K. highlight gigabit speed goals being set around the world. But as other nations build faster speeds, the United States remains in the slow lane with a 25/3 Mbps.
INCOMPAS has called on the FCC to raise broadband benchmark speeds to a gigabit standard, and has advocated for infrastructure funding from Congress to invest in faster speed networks built for the future, that can be deployed and made available to local communities as quickly as possible so we can compete with the rest of the world.
“The race for faster speed broadband is a race that will define the future. Kids, families and small businesses need future focused networks that deliver both speed and affordability, and they need them now," said Mignon Clyburn, BroadLand co-chair. "China, Europe and the U.K. have all raced ahead of the United States with gigabit goals, and policy makers must break free of the past quickly or get left in the dust.”
House Committee Approves Bill Eliminating Broadband Barriers
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility Act on July 28, which was introduced by Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Michael Guest (R-Miss.). The bill seeks to create a high-speed broadband initiative and authorizes the Economic Development Administration to award grants for public-private partnerships and consortiums to carry out broadband projects.
Sens. Rosen and King Introduce Middle Mile Broadband Bill
Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Angus King (I-Maine) announced the introduction of their Middle Mile Broadband Deployment Act, which is aimed at boosting broadband infrastructure between internet service providers and local community connection sites, including institutions such as schools, libraries and government offices, or what’s known as the “middle mile.” The bill would create a program within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to provide grants for middle-mile infrastructure. “By building these connections, we will expand local broadband access to previously unreached and underserved communities, bringing down the price of internet access for consumers in the process,” Rosen said.