Keller and Heckman LLP
A growing number of initiatives across America have sought to facilitate affordable access to broadband by working with willing incumbents, partnering with new entrants, establishing their own communications networks, or developing creative new alternatives. For many, broadband partnerships have emerged as their most attractive option; for some, partnerships may be their only feasible option. Depending on the circumstances, partnerships can significantly improve a broadband project’s prospects for success.
Part 2 of Keller and Heckman's series exploring provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act dissects a portion of the Act allocating an additional $1 billion for middle-mile broadband infrastructure projects. Middle-mile infrastructure does not provide service directly to end users but is critical for expanding reliable broadband service into unserved and underserved areas.
Among the $65 billion allocated to broadband in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Act), $42.45 billion will be used to fund a last-mile broadband development grant program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The scale of this investment is unlike anything seen before in US history.
The United States must act aggressively to meet two core broadband challenges. One is to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to the Internet at levels sufficient to enable them to participate fully in modern life. The other is to ensure that all of America’s communities obtain the advanced communications capabilities they will need to survive and thrive in the increasingly competitive global economy.
Senate finishing crafting $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal, including $65 billion for broadband
Senate Democrats and Republicans unveiled a roughly $1 trillion proposal to improve the country’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections, setting in motion a long-awaited debate in the chamber to enact one of President Biden’s economic policy priorities. The roughly 2,700-page piece of legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, includes $65 billion to expand broadband Internet access nationwide and ensure those who do have connectivity can afford their monthly payments.