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FCC Reveals First Group of

Emergency Benefit Providers (EBB)

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that a total of 319 broadband providers are in the first wave of participants to opt into the FCC's $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, offering broadband to eligible households, supported by the federal benefit. The program is designed to lower the cost of high-speed internet service for those households struggling to afford broadband connectivity. The program offers eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands, and a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet.

 

A few of the 15 Ohio providers that have signed up for the program include Wabash, AT&T, Cable One, Comcast, Ayersville, Windstream and Verizon. The FCC is expecting to approve and sign-up additional interested providers in the future.

 

American Jobs Plan Includes

$100 Billion for Universal Broadband

 

President Joe Biden has unveiled his economic recovery proposal, the American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion plan to improve our nation's infrastructure. The plan proposes $100 billion in funding to expand broadband access, and to modernize our roads, bridges, and airports, which ultimately grows our economy. The President also expects the plan to tackle America's climate change.

 

The level of broadband spending calls for legislation to improve pricing transparency and affordability. It mirrors Democratic law-makers Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act and the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's America Act. Biden's proposal prioritizes building 'future proof' broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas in order to reach 100 percent

high-speed broadband coverage. It also prioritizes support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and cooperatives.

 

Reactions to the plan are obviously divided along party lines. House Democrats are wanting to pass the infrastructure package by July 14, which could pose a difficult task with a slim majority of(219-211).

 

The Senate needs 60 votes to surpass the filibuster, but Senate leaders are already talking about using a budget reconciliation process to pass the plan with a simple majority of 51 votes, which would require Vice President Harris to break the tie.

 

President Biden wants to cover the cost of the sweeping infrastructure plan by raising corporate tax rates and make it difficult for companies to use offshore tax shelters.

 

NTCA is lining up discussions with key Congressional leaders as they begin deliberations on the President and his administration's policies

that they want to see enacted through the infrastructure proposal. A few of NTCA's discussion priorities include urging policymakers to wait until better broadband maps are developed; ensuring that funding does not go to any provider to overbuild high-speed networks already developed; making sure providers are fully vetted before eligible to seek funding and ensuring that the Plan does not call for the elimination of universal service policies or programs.

ORBA is "Connecting Communities" Throughout Ohio

A consortium of independent telcos and CLECs working together, sharing knowledge and

commonalities to promote and serve rural areas of Ohio

 

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