Opportunity Economy: Broadband Expansion Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
- The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would provide $65 billion to upgrade US broadband coverage.
- Rural broadband providers using both fiber and wireless technology have an opportunity to expand in unserved and underserved rural areas.
- The Act only provides funding for construction, not maintenance for operations.
While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health and economic concern, companies are adapting and adjusting, finding new and better ways to do business moving forward. Womble Bond Dickinson is taking a comprehensive look at this new Opportunity Economy from a wide range of viewpoints. For example, Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Carri Bennet explored how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will greatly benefit broadband expansion, particularly to underserved rural areas. She recently spoke to Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Mark Henriques on an episode of the “In-house Roundhouse” podcast, and the article below is based on that conversation.
Infrastructure in the 21st Century encompasses more than roads, bridges and dams. The Opportunity Economy depends on a vast network of fiber, cable, spectrum, towers and equipment that provide a stable, speedy internet connection that future proofs these wired and wireless networks.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act currently before Congress not only addresses traditional infrastructure needs, but if approved in its current form, would provide $65 billion to provide ubiquitous nationwide broadband coverage.
Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Carri Bennet works closely with rural broadband carriers who are on the front lines of providing high-speed internet coverage to America’s most remote regions using both fiber and wireless technologies. While the details of the Act are yet to be finalized, Bennet said the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a potential game-changer that stands to greatly benefit not only rural residents, but the nation’s overall economic competitiveness.