Now the Biden administration is promising to do something about all of those issues as part of its proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure package. The plan, which would devote $100 billion to get all Americans connected, is more idea than policy and lacks a lot of important detail.
But it sketches out a striking new vision of activist government measures intended to improve high-speed internet service, following decades in which the government has largely left the job to private companies.
WHAT IS BIDEN’S PROPOSAL?
It would spend $100 billion to “future-proof” broadband as part of an eight-year infrastructure plan, calling high-speed connections “the new electricity” that’s now a necessity for all Americans. (For history buffs, that’s a reference to the Rural Electrification Act — Depression-era legislation that sped the extension of power lines to farms and rural communities.)
It could signal a major policy shift toward lowering the high cost of internet service, rather than just handing money to broadband providers for building out networks. “Americans pay too much for internet,” the plan bluntly states.
It pushes for greater competition that could lower prices, by encouraging and supporting networks owned or affiliated with local governments, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations. Currently, roughly 20 states restrict municipal broadband. Prioritizing such networks could give them a leg up when the government doles out money for extending service.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
FALSE ALARM: NO SPACE JUNK THREAT AFTER ALL TO SPACEX CREW
SpaceX’s four astronauts had barely settled into orbit last Friday when they were ordered back into their spacesuits because of a potential collision with orbiting junk.
THE BIG PENTAGON INTERNET MYSTERY NOW PARTIALLY SOLVED
A very strange thing happened on the internet the day President Joe Biden was sworn in. A shadowy company residing at a shared workspace above a Florida bank announced to the world’s computer networks that it was now managing a colossal, previously idle chunk of the internet owned by the U.S. Department of Defense.
BIGGEST SPACE STATION CROWD IN DECADE AFTER SPACEX ARRIVAL
The International Space Station’s population swelled to 11 on Saturday with the jubilant arrival of SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year.
TESLA POSTS $438M 1Q PROFIT ON STRONG ELECTRIC VEHICLE SALES
Charged up by strong sales of its electric cars and SUVs, Tesla posted its seventh-straight profitable quarter.
YOU WANTED LOTS OF BLOOD? ‘MORTAL KOMBAT' LISTENED
The first death in the “Mortal Kombat” reboot occurs less than three minutes in, which is actually pretty coy. This is a movie, after all, based on a video game where the point is bloody violence.
FIVE NEW EVS TO WAIT FOR IN 2021
Electric vehicle shoppers have an increasing number of models to choose from.
MICROSOFT PROFITS SOAR AS CLOUD DEMAND CONTINUES IN PANDEMIC
Microsoft’s profits soared during the first three months of 2021, thanks to ongoing demand for its software and cloud computing services during the pandemic.
DRONE OPERATORS CHALLENGE SURVEYORS' TURF IN MAPPING DISPUTE
When Michael Jones started a side hustle shooting drone photos and videos for realtors, his clients wanted more: Images with property lines on them, to better understand where their fences should be.
AUTO GROUP BACKS GUIDELINES FOR PARTIALLY AUTOMATED VEHICLES
The trade association representing most major automakers is offering guidelines for manufacturers to advertise partially automated driving systems and to make sure drivers are paying attention while using them.
APPLE ANNOUNCES 1ST EAST COAST CAMPUS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Apple is expanding spending in the U.S. and announced plans to build its first East Coast campus, in North Carolina.