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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Biden to visit North Carolina to announce $82M for high-speed Internet

President Joe Biden’s visit to North Carolina Thursday is intended to highlight infrastructure gains made in the state under his policies, while calling attention to progress in the president’s bigger goal of connecting all Americans to the Internet by 2030. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo ↗

Jan. 18 (UPI) — President Joe Biden ↗ will travel to North Carolina on Thursday to announce $82 million in new federal investments to help bring high-speed Internet to thousands of homes and businesses that don’t currently have service.

The funds are provided through the Capital Projects Fund of the American Rescue Plan, and will serve to provide new Internet service to 16,000 properties throughout the Raleigh-Durham area, the White House said.

Biden’s visit is intended to highlight infrastructure gains made in the state under his policies, while calling attention to progress in the president’s bigger goal of connecting all Americans to the Internet by 2030.

Since taking office, Biden has emphasized ↗ high-speed Internet as a major infrastructure priority, with states receiving millions of dollars from the government to boost connectivity among poor populations and in remote areas.

All states and territories now have roadmaps for the $42 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program — otherwise known as BEADS, a major provision of Biden’s $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which aims to connect every home and business to affordable Internet.

The Biden administration said it has allocated more than $3 billion in North Carolina to reduce connectivity costs for families and ensure increased access to reliable high-speed Internet.

Additionally, the administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program has benefited 885,000 households in the state, leading to considerable savings on monthly Internet bills.

In North Carolina, the administration has set a goal to connect 300,000 more homes and businesses to high-speed Internet by the end of 2026 using another $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan.

The continuing investments by the government are also helping create new jobs in construction and manufacturing across North Carolina, which has also started producing fiber-optic cable that will serve to expand digital infrastructure nationwide.

Through his latest actions, Biden sought to emphasize that high-speed Internet is no longer a luxury item as schools, healthcare, workplaces and homes increasingly rely on digital connectivity for day-to-day tasks and operations.

More than 7 million households across the country have no Internet access, with many of these families struggling with limited options that are often not affordable.

Biden’s American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law placed $90 billion at the government’s disposal to help close the digital divide across the country.

So far the Affordable Connectivity Program has helped more than 22 million households save $30-$75 per month on Internet, while the administration has called on Congress to continue funding the program, the White House said.

The projects are already underway or set to begin in 90% of North Carolina counties, and includes more than $700 million that North Carolina has invested from state funding.

The federal investments are driving private sector involvement in fiber optics across the nation, while serving to bring manufacturing and critical capital projects back to the United States, the White House said.

Last summer, the Biden administration announced ↗ the investment of more than $1 billion to shore up Wisconsin’s Internet infrastructure.

Another $25 billion is being provided through the American Rescue Plan to improve Internet service in economically challenged regions nationwide.

Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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