US Senator Amy Klobuchar, the co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn have introduced comprehensive bicameral broadband infrastructure legislation to expand access to affordable broadband services in the US. Introduced in the House and the Senate earlier this month, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act (AAIA) seeks to invest over USD94 billion to build high speed broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities to close the digital divide.
The AAIA will encourage universal broadband access by:
· Authorising USD80 billion to deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure nationwide;
· Allocating USD5 billion over five years for low-interest financing of broadband deployment through a new secured loan programme; and
· Establishing a new office within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to ensure efficient use of federal money.
Senator Klobuchar commented: ‘When we invest in broadband infrastructure, we invest in opportunity for all Americans. In 2021, we should be able to bring high-speed internet to every family in America – regardless of their zip code. This legislation will help bridge the digital divide once and for all.’