Radio News: No broadband spending in Trump infrastructure plan
Feb 13, 2018 10:50 pm
Jon Brodkin reports at Ars Technica that the infrastructure plan the Trump administration unveiled Feb. 12 does not include any money specifically for broadband internet. The 10-year plan for "rebuilding infrastructure in America" doesn't include much federal money for anything, leaving most spending up to the states. But the plan's $50 billion Rural Infrastructure Program does list broadband as one of five categories where governors can spend their money. Rural broadband facilities would also be eligible for Private Activity Bonds, so private projects could "benefit from the lower financing costs of tax-exempt municipal bonds." The plan would also let carriers install small cells and Wi-Fi attachments without the same environmental and historical preservation reviews required for large towers, according to Ars Technica. A report from the Federal Communications Commission says it would take $40 billion in broadband funding to raise broadband availability from 86 percent to 98 percent of the country.