Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo unveiled a breakdown of spending on the proposed $65 billion funds to expand broadband access and affordability in the U.S., a landmark proposal by the Biden administration as it aims to provide all Americans with efficient broadband access.
The bill includes $42.45 billion in grants for expanding physical access to broadband, including rolling out fibre-optic networks across the country.
The bill automatically grants $100 million for each state that can be used for technical assistance, the establishment of a state broadband office, and other efforts, for a total of $5 billion.
The rest of the $42 billion will go to the states through a formula-based incentive program, and all beneficiaries will be required to offer a low-cost plan.
The new infrastructure bill also provides $14.2 billion for the Federal Communications Commission to provide a new and permanent voucher of $30 per month for low-income families to use on any internet service plan of their choice.
The bill also adds on a $3.2 billion temporary COVID-19 pandemic program, known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit, currently used by about 7.4 million U.S. households, with a monthly subsidy of $50.
A Pew Research survey found that both minority and low-income households are less likely to have internet access at home, with less than 60% of adults with an annual household income of less than $30,000 having internet access at home.