Newly released legislative text of the Senate’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan – now titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – explains that the bill proposes to spend $65 billion on broadband-related items, headlined by $42.45 billion in funding for a Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program.

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The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has begun soliciting bids for a potential 10-year, $980 million satellite broadband contract to provide satellite communications services under the Commercial Broadband Satellite Program (CBSP), according to a request for proposals (RFP) notice posted on the SAM website.

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced an interagency agreement to coordinate the distribution of Federal broadband deployment funds.

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President Biden

President Biden on June 26 pledged his support for a separate voting track in Congress for legislation containing a $1.2 trillion compromise infrastructure agreement that the White House reached last week with a bipartisan group of senators.

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The National Science Foundation (NSF), in coordination with a consortium of 35 wireless communication corporations, announced the fourth testbed in a diverse portfolio of large-scale wireless research platforms located throughout the United States. This wireless research platform is intended to drive innovation in rural broadband connectivity in Ames, Iowa.

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Reps. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., and John Curtis, R-Utah, have introduced the Accelerating Rural Broadband Deployment Act, which would increase internet access in rural America by relaxing government regulations. Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced a companion bill in April of this year.

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the Final Rule for its Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program this week, to provide $268 million to historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to expand their broadband.

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Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Angus King, I-Maine, introduced a bipartisan bill that aims to close the digital divide and promote “digital equity” utilizing $250 million in annual grants, according to a press release.

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wireless networks

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced their partnership with the Department of Defense, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Apple, Google, IBM, and other industry players to coordinate new research into the connectivity landscape of tomorrow, future-facing Wi-Fi and 6G capabilities. 

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Rural broadband

Senators Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., on May 18 reintroduced the Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act that would provide a boost in rural broadband investment to state and local governments.

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To close the broadband divide in both urban and rural America, the Federal government must focus on providing significant funding, ensuring accurate data, and work to ensure equity is baked into broadband expansion plans. During a House Committee on Appropriations hearing today, telecommunications and civil rights experts shared their thoughts on what the Federal government, […]

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Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing to discuss the disparities in broadband access and affordability across the country with Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., calling for government intervention to invest where the marketplace doesn’t support broadband.

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A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Rural STEM Education Act, which would provide Federal support for STEM training in rural schools and instruct the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide grants to support training for rural STEM teachers.

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