Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Louisiana on Monday to remind Americans that infrastructure in 2022 includes more than roads, bridges and pipelines.
It also means broadband internet.
What you need to know
- Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Sonnett, Louisiana, on Monday to remind Americans that infrastructure in 2022 includes more than roads, bridges and pipelines. This also means broadband internet
- Sixty-five billion dollars in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress in November was earmarked with the goal of providing high-speed, affordable and accessible internet to all Americans.
- The Commerce Department announced last month that it had awarded 13 broadband grants totaling more than $277 million, the first batch of funding for new infrastructure.
- BroadbandNow Research estimated last year that 42 million Americans do not have the ability to purchase broadband Internet, and the White House says 35% of rural Americans and tribal communities lack wired access to broadband.
Sixty-five billion dollars of the $1 trillion bipartisan and bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress in November was earmarked with the goal of providing high-speed, affordable and accessible internet to all Americans.
The Commerce Department announced last month that it had awarded 13 broadband grants totaling more than $277 million, the first tranche of funding for new infrastructure. The grants are used to connect more than 133,000 households in 12 states and the US territory of Guam to high-speed internet.
“President (Joe) Biden and I have, well, worked day in and day out to build an economy that works for working people, an economy in which everyone has what they need to move forward and thrive,” Harris said in a speech after touring the small-town library of Sunset. High-speed broadband internet is critical to this effort. In the 21st century, high speed internet has become a must. Point.”
The Acadiana region of Louisiana, which includes 22 parishes in the southern part of the state, is receiving $29 million to provide broadband to more than 22,000 families and 3,000 small businesses.
in St. Landry Parish, where the Sunset is located, 30% of households do not have high-speed internet, which leads to some students doing homework over WiFi from fast-food parking lots or seniors sharing virtual doctor’s appointments at public libraries within walking distance of outsiders, Harris told strangers. .
She added that Americans have become more dependent on the Internet since the pandemic began two years ago.
“A lot of our world, if we think about it, has moved online,” she said. “Throughout the pandemic, people have relied on high-speed internet like never before.”
Harris was introduced by a student named Josie, who described the challenges of virtual learning during the early weeks of the pandemic. She said that she and her classmates were repeatedly kicked out of Google Meet or had difficulties logging in.
“This caused the virtual learning process to be 10 times more difficult,” Josie said. “Due to frequent connectivity problems, virtual learning failed after only one month.”
The Biden administration has made it a priority to make high-speed Internet access more accessible, saying it can help students learn at home and in the classroom, small businesses stay competitive, and residents receive telehealth. New jobs are also being created in laying fiber optic cables.
BroadbandNow Research estimated last year that 42 million Americans do not have the ability to purchase broadband Internet. According to the White House, 35% of rural Americans and tribal communities lack wired access to broadband.
“Too many of our American colleagues simply cannot afford a high-speed internet plan,” Harris said. “And a lot of others can’t even come up with such a plan.”
Harris was accompanied in Louisiana by Governor John Bel Edwards, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves and Representative Troy Carter, De La.
Other states that awarded broadband grants in February were Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.