Approved Senate Stimulus Includes $7B for Broadband

Before you get your hopes up too high, first be aware that even though the Senate has passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, the House version has to be reconciled with that bill. So even though the Senate approved broadband funding in the broader economic stimulus package, the House might not be as kind.

The Senate voted 61-37 on Tuesday to provide $838 billion to reinvigorate a dying American economy. The House is backing an $819 billion package.

Senate lawmakers set aside $7 billion – down from $9 billion – for broadband build-outs. Still, the move garnered industry praise. The Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) was among the first organizations to issue a press release. Many of the association’s members reach rural and underserved areas. The Senate bill, said WCAI President Fred Campbell, would help members get more wireless broadband to people who need high-speed Internet access.

This would “create new jobs, strengthen our economy and ensure that America remains competitive globally,” Campbell said.

Consumer advocacy group Free Press, meanwhile, reiterated its support for net neutrality provisions in any final stimulus bill.


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