House OKs $100B broadband plan with $50 monthly discounts for poor people
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The US House of Representatives yesterday approved $100 billion worth of broadband funding as part of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.
The broadband portion is modeled on the Democrats' "universal fiber" plan we wrote about last week . The plan includes $80 billion in fiscal year 2021, money that the Federal Communications Commission would use to fund high-speed broadband projects in unserved and underserved areas. Funded projects would have to provide 100Mbps download and upload speeds, along with low latencies, conditions that would spur fiber-to-the-home development.
The bill has additional money for broadband-deployment loans, grants for states to pursue digital-inclusion projects, Wi-Fi on school buses, and network equipment for schools and libraries. It also includes a $9 billion Broadband Connectivity Fund to provide $50 monthly discounts for low-income broadband users, and $75 monthly discounts for low-income households in Tribal lands. The broadband portions of the infrastructure bill are in this set of amendments .
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