Broadband gets $7 billion in new COVID-19 relief bill
The United States Congress has agreed on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, which lawmakers say will include $7 billion in broadband funding.
According to a joint statement released by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), that $7 billion will cover “a new Emergency Broadband Benefit to help millions of students, families and unemployed workers afford the broadband they need during the pandemic.”
The largest chunk of the bill is $3.2 billion in funding to provide a $50 monthly emergency broadband benefit for anyone laid off or furloughed during the pandemic, a measure introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the original HEROES Act.
Also, according to reporting in Axios, the $7 billion includes $1 billion in grants for Tribal broadband programs, $300 million for rural broadband infrastructure grants, $285 million for a pilot program to help with broadband issues for communities near historically Black colleges and universities; $250 million for telehealth; and $65 million for broadband mapping.
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