Infrastructure law: High-speed internet is as essential as water and electricity by Hernán Galperin 11/19/2021

internet, Infrastructure law

(Author Provided/)

The bill goes further by acknowledging that the “digital divide disproportionately affects communities of color, lower-income areas, and rural areas,” and orders the Federal Communications Commission to take action against discrimination of access based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion or national origin. This is an important recognition of the role that broadband access plays in perpetuating cycles of poverty and community underdevelopment.

Many studies, including my own, have documented how investments in fiber‐ optic lines and related next‐generation broadband infrastructure are going to more affluent communities, often bypassing low‐income residents in highly urbanized areas such as Los Angeles and Detroit. The bill not only empowers the FCC to monitor and correct such practices, but also helps align private investment incentives with public benefits by creating the Affordable Connectivity Fund, a permanent broadband subsidy for low‐income households.

The act provides $65 billion in new funding for expanding broadband infrastructure and promoting adoption. The largest of the law's many components is the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program, which goes to the states to administer as block grants to expand broadband networks. The second‐largest piece is the $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Fund, which subsidizes eligible households with $30 per month for internet access.

Six out of ten world's best cities to relocate to are in USA by Harry Johnson, eTN, 11/19/21

climate crisis, climate change

(ICRC/)

Austin, Texas is named the number one place to relocate to, with Charleston and Los Angeles also ranking in the top five.

The study analyzed factors that are often taken into consideration when deciding where to relocate to, including house prices, living costs, average salary, weather conditions, number of restaurants and green spaces, internet speed and life expectancy.

The best city in the world to relocate to is Austin, TX, USA. Austin has the third-best internet speed of any city in the rankings, at 87.5 Mbps. Additionally, the city scores highly in terms of average temperature (20.4°C), and high average monthly salaries at $5,350.

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Emergency Broadband Benefit from FCC

FCC, Broadband Emergency Broadband Benefit
 » Up to $50/month discount for broadband service;
 » Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and;
 » A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider.
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