Biden Cuts Broadband Spending, Republican Infrastructure Plan, Gigabit Opportunity Zones, Ige Under Fire: High Speed Breakfast
May 24, 2021 – The Biden administration appears to be willing to back down on the $ 100 billion proposal it put forward in favor of a lower Republican figure, according to a Memo from the White House.
The administration said it was prepared to reduce the broadband funding proposal to the $ 65 billion allocated in the Republican infrastructure plan in an apparent effort to rally Republican support for its infrastructure bill.
Cedric Richmond, senior advisor to the White House, describes the move as a “change of course”, declaring, “[Joe Biden] will not let inaction be the answer. And when he gets to the point where it seems inevitable, you’ll see him change course.
Many broadband advocates have said they don’t want the perfect to be the enemy of the good and said any positive change would be an improvement over the current situation, especially in rural and inner-city communities. cities.
Biden’s proposal eclipsed that of the Republican, but was also much larger than the Democrat’s $ 80 billion proposal.
Republicans push for new infrastructure plan
The House Republicans last week released a new broadband infrastructure plan to help bridge the gap and help all Americans achieve broadband without excessive waste.
The American Broadband Act plan promotes accurate mapping to target rural and unserved areas. The plan authorizes $ 20 billion over five years to promote the deployment of broadband infrastructure and $ 3 billion to promote the deployment of wireless infrastructure in rural areas.
The plan stems from the party’s broadband connectivity program.
Cammack presents the Gigabit Opportunity Act
Congressman Kat Cammack, R-Florida, introduced a bill that would allow states to create “gigabit opportunity zones” in areas that currently lack broadband infrastructure.
These zones would offer tax incentives to qualified broadband providers to deploy gigabit capable infrastructure.
The main purpose of the bill is to address the shortage of broadband services that exist in rural communities. Supporters of the bill tout it as a solution to bridging the digital divide.
Multi-million dollar no-tender contract raises questions
The governor’s administration David Ige, D-Hawaii, assures critics that he was not involved in the decision to award GTE Hawaiian Telecom a $ 25 million non-tender contract, even though Ige had a career that lasted several decades within the company.
The contract in question was to provide broadband to eight areas of Hawaii that the government currently considers underserved. Critics have called the non-submission movement at best uncompetitive and corrupt at worst.
Ige worked for GTE Hawaiian Telecom for 18 years where he served as a Network Design Administrator. In 1985, Ige was appointed by the then governor. John waihee sit in the House of Representatives. At this point, Ige entered a government relations role with GTE Hawaiian Telecom, where he simultaneously served as a lobbyist and legislator.