House Commerce Committee Democrats Propose $40 Billion for Broadband Buildout In Newest Version of Infrastructure Bill

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House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and all 31 Democratic members of the committee introduced the the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s (LIFT) America Act, a comprehensive infrastructure package aimed at combating the climate crisis, expanding broadband internet access and protecting public health. (See section-by-section summary.) Broadband investments include:

  • $40 billion for the deployment of secure and resilient high-speed broadband internet service to expand access for communities nationwide and bring broadband to 98 percent of the country.
  • $12 billion in grants for the implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1 services to make 9-1-1 service more accessible, effective, and resilient, and enable Americans to send text messages, images, or videos to 9-1-1 in times of emergency.
  • $5 billion in federal funding for low-interest financing of broadband infrastructure deployment through a new program that would allow eligible entities to apply for secured loans, lines of credit, or loan guarantees to finance broadband infrastructure build out projects.

The legislation would also authorize the Next Generation 9-1-1 Implementation Coordination Office to provide $12 billion in grants over five years for the implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1 services. Next Generation 9-1-1 service would make 9-1-1 service more resilient and allow callers to send text messages, images, or videos to 9-1-1 to help first responders better assess the nature of emergencies and protect callers when they can’t speak to 9-1-1 dispatchers.

The legislation provides $850 million over five years to spur the development of Smart Communities infrastructure through technical assistance, grants, and training. The bill would authorizes the Department of Energy’s proposed Cities, Counties, and Communities energy program to provide technical assistance and competitive grants for clean energy solutions in development and redevelopment efforts. It also funds technical assistance to be provided by the national labs to cities and towns looking to deploy smart community infrastructure. The legislation would expand the Department of Commerce smart cities demonstration project to include small and medium cities and towns.

The Commerce Committee announced a hearing on the LIFT America Act scheduled for May 22.

E&C Democrats Introduce Infrastructure Package Aimed at Combating Climate Change, Expanding Broadband Access & Protecting Public Dems Proposing $40 Billion For Broadband Buildout, Again