House Approves Spending $100 Billion to Expand Rural Broadband Access

The US House of Representatives has approved the Moving Forward Act, a bill that would allocate $100 billion for expanding broadband internet access to rural areas around the country. In total, the bill includes $1.5 trillion for projects including rebuilding infrastructure and focusing on clean energy sources. 

The section focusing on broadband says the plan “Expands affordable high-speed Internet to underserved communities with a $100 billion investment that promotes competition, connects children to remote learning, closes broadband adoption and digital skills gaps and improves affordability.”

fact sheet covering the highlights of the Moving Forward Act notes that the expansion of broadband will be focused on two groups – kids and low income families. With a goal to close the “homework gap,” the act would bring WiFi to schools and libraries, along with making remote learning more accessible. The act would also make internet available in underserved locations, allowing low income households to adopt digital skills.

In January, the FCC announced another effort to “close the digital divide” and announced plans to spend $20.4 billion to bring internet to six million people in rural America through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. In February, the President announced the American Broadband Initiative with the same goal.

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