Also in the infrastructure bill is broadband, allocating sixty five billion dollars for connectivity. The final bill did not include provisions for municipal broadband networks to be prioritized and does not preempt state measures that restrict those networks. Also previously discussed was changing the definition of broadband, which did not make it – the bill defines broadband as 100 megabits down and 20 up.
What did make it is $40 billion to the states, which then work with localities and ISPs to improve the networks. Providers that accept funds must offer a low-cost tier of service, at the required speeds, to the markets they serve in that state. The bill also reinstitutes the so-called Broadband Nutrition Label, disclosing speed and reliability information.
Why do we care?
I was a guest on the Podnutz Pro podcast last night, and we talked about broadband. I maintain that every IT provider wants more options and more competition to open up new customers to be served. And this is a welcome step for ensuring the digital divide doesn’t leave too many Americans behind… but not enough to change the behaviors of the telecom industry. Better news for society, not enough good news for providers here.