Wed, 27 Sep 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said that more than 8.3 million US homes and businesses do not have access to broadband internet.

The FCC said that in its data, which is crucial for funding decisions, it has increased its estimates of homes and businesses without access by nearly 330,000 locations.

In 2021, the US Congress approved grants for states and territories worth $42.45 billion, aimed at enabling them to expand broadband infrastructure to areas with no access.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it will release a plan for 30th June on how it will allocate broadband infrastructure grants to states and territories this year.

"We will continue to monitor the FCC's updates to availability data to ensure that we make a well-informed allocation of these vital funds. Ultimately, we know tens of millions of Americans do not have access to high-speed internet service. To serve these Americans, it is vital we continue to implement this program with urgency," the Telecommunications and Information Administration said.

To enable low-income families to pay for their own internet service plan, Congress also allocated $14.2 billion to fund the provision of a $30 per month voucher program.

Some 18 million American households have now signed up for the program.

However, earlier this month FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said that without congressional action, the program is expected to run out of money.

The program could run out of funds in the first quarter of 2024, Verizon said, stressing that Congress should develop "long-term reforms to current broadband subsidy programs to ensure they operate efficiently, avoid duplication, and target funding to those who need it most."

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