Money for telecommunication deployments in the rural United States.
With 2020 seeing the deployment of 5G for consumers just as the pandemic pushed many businesses and classrooms online, we saw the limitations of our telecom infrastructure. Research estimates that around 42 million people in the United States do not have access to broadband speed internet. The majority of these households are in rural or lower income areas, where there is either no service or the families are priced out of broadband access. During the height of the pandemic, we saw states and the federal government talk about the disparity in the access to telecom. We have seen the FCC make measly attempts to help offset the growing expense of rural telecommunication and internet deployment, but now when the house could have made a real effort to help provide this tool to millions of Americans there was no line item for telecom. It is predicted that the deployment of broadband into rural areas would create an estimated 60,000 new telecom jobs in the parts of America hit the hardest by unemployment during Covid, while shortening the divide in education and employment opportunities.
So, what is next for the for INVEST Act? It moves onto the senate where we could see it pass on a slim margin, so please call your senators, and let them know that telecom needs to be included in the largest infrastructure bill in American History.
Sources: https://blogs.worldbank.org/jobs/broadband-access-spurs-jobs-hard-reach-areas and https://broadbandnow.com.