Biden Cuts Broadband Plan For GOP Support

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President Biden has agreed to cut his broadband-deployment proposal from $100 billion to $65 billion.

This is the same amount proposed by Republicans as they attempt to gain their support.

Republicans still object to Biden’s overall infrastructure spending plan, with Biden’s proposed priority on municipal broadband networks getting particular opposition.

The Biden team is trying to reach 100% high-speed broadband coverage across the U.S.

These municipal broadband networks, which will be run by local governments, non-profits, and co-ops, could spell a significant change from previous U.S. spending programs that spent billions to support private internet providers.

Republicans have fought hard against public broadband for years, even initiating a nationwide ban on municipal broadband networks.

The White House informed Republicans of Biden’s willingness to trim $35 billion from his broadband proposal in a memo last Friday. In total, Biden trimmed his overall plan from $2.25 trillion over eight years to $1.7 trillion.

The Biden administration also believes that the highly wealthy companies, many of whom have not paid taxes in recent years, can do with a modest increase to pay for middle-class jobs.

Biden’s proposal would also compel internet providers to disclose the prices they charge, in an attempt to end the rampant and unwieldy hidden charges that ISP’s use to raise actual prices above what they advertise.

Biden is also facing opposition from broadband providers who are objecting to the proposal to subsidize fiber-to-home deployment across the U.S.

Telecom giant AT&T has strongly opposed this plan, arguing that people in rural areas do not need fiber connections and are completely satisfied with 10Mbps internet speeds.

For more information, read the original story in Arstechnica.

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