US allocates $42 billion to make internet access universal by 2030

 US allocates $42 billion to make internet access universal by 2030

The White House on Monday divvied up US$42 billion among the nation’s 50 states and U.S. territories to make access to high-speed broadband universal by 2030, as it launched a new publicity campaign for President Joe Biden’s economic policies.

According to Reuters, the funding under the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program was authorised by the US$1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law Biden championed. The spending will be based on a newly released Federal Communications Commission coverage map that details gaps in access.

Texas and California – the two most populous U.S. states – top the funding list at US$3.1 billion and US$1.9 billion, respectively. But other, less populous states like Virginia, Alabama and Louisiana cracked the top 10 list for funding due to lack of broadband access. These states have large rural areas with less internet connectivity than their major cities.

“It’s the biggest investment in high-speed internet ever. Because for today’s economy to work for everyone, internet access is just as important as electricity, or water, or other basic services,” Reuters quoted Biden as saying in a White House address on Monday.

The awards range from US$27 million to U.S. territories like U.S. Virgin Islands to over US$3.3 billion for Texas, with every state receiving a minimum of US$107 million.

The announcement kicks off the second leg of Biden’s tour highlighting how legislation passed when his Democratic Party controlled Congress will affect average Americans, as his 2024 re-election bid gears up.