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Joint Economic Committee Democrats Chairman - Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)

Broadband Programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Will Help Close the Digital Divide and Expand Economic Opportunity

Key Points:
An estimated 42 million Americans do not have access to broadband, blocking already disadvantaged communities from this vital service
Access to broadband is important for broader economic growth and opportunity, especially in communities of color and rural areas
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act continues the federal commitment to increasing broadband availability and affordability

Access to broadband has rapidly become key to everyday life and a vital driver of economic growth. The coronavirus pandemic exposed inequality in broadband access as school instruction and certain jobs became fully online and it highlighted the need for investments to ensure all U.S. households have access to affordable and reliable internet. A combination of economic and geographic factors along with limited market competition have led to this “digital divide” of unequal broadband access, which hits low-income neighborhoods, rural areas and communities of color particularly hard. 

To address this divide and increase the availability and affordability of broadband internet throughout the country, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act commits nearly $65 billion to broadband services. Funds from the law will both expand the physical infrastructure needed for new broadband service and subsidize internet plans for millions of low-income Americans.

Read the full report.