US relief package provides $7 billion for broadband

After months of deliberation, congressional leaders reached a $900 billion coronavirus reduction deal on Sunday, together with billions in funding for broadband web entry.

Congress’ newest reduction measure supplies $7 billion in funding for broadband connectivity and infrastructure. That determine contains $3.2 billion for a $50-per-month emergency broadband profit for people who find themselves laid off or furloughed throughout the pandemic, in line with a press launch from Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) workplace on Sunday.

“Broadband connections are important for People looking for to get new jobs, and to entry college, well being care and different authorities providers,” Wyden mentioned in an announcement Sunday night time. “Making certain working households can keep on-line can pay large dividends for teenagers’ training, serving to folks discover jobs and leap beginning the financial restoration subsequent 12 months.”

Axios reported Sunday that the coronavirus reduction invoice additionally contains $1.9 billion to take away Huawei and ZTE tools from US networks. In June, the Federal Communications Fee formally designated Huawei and ZTE as nationwide safety threats. In doing so, the FCC banned US corporations from buying the tools with authorities cash. Earlier this month, the company moved to require US telecom corporations to “rip and change” any Huawei or ZTE tools presently deployed of their networks.

The deal additionally contains $1 billion in Tribal broadband grants, $250 million towards telehealth, and $65 million for broadband mapping enhancements, according to Axios. The US’s broadband maps have been the target of criticism for years. The FCC’s present methodology declares a complete ZIP code as having broadband if only one dwelling in that census block is served.

The $900 billion COVID reduction invoice features a new spherical of direct funds, following the identical necessities as the primary spherical of stimulus checks earlier this 12 months. This bundle supplies stimulus checks of as much as $600 per particular person for folks incomes as much as $75,000 a 12 months and one other $600 for his or her kids, according to The New York Times. Each the Home and Senate accredited the measure Sunday night time, and President Donald Trump signed it late Sunday night.

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