President Trump and Congress prepare to tackle broadband expansion in 2018

Expanding access to broadband has emerged as one of the few issues that enjoys bicameral and bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, and 2018 is shaping up to be the year in which the White House, Congress, and the private sector unite to bridge the digital divide.

The White House has pledged to turn its attention to an infrastructure package once Congress passed legislation reforming the tax code, and members of the Trump administration focused on infrastructure have been working with Capitol Hill to address the president’s infrastructure priorities, which include broadband access. The details of the infrastructure package, expected in January, haven’t been revealed, but a White House official said the plan will include a “dedicated portion of funding” for rural projects, with "no limit" on how much can be spent on broadband. The White House is also awaiting a report, due in 2018, from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that identifies legislative, regulatory, or policy changes that in part promote technological innovation and infrastructure improvements in rural parts of the country. President Trump plans to roll out the details of his infrastructure package before the State of the Union on Jan. 30, and Congress will then be tasked with implementing the president’s priorities.


President Trump and Congress prepare to tackle broadband expansion in 2018