Broadband experts explain how Biden’s American Jobs Plan could make your Wi-Fi faster

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 8:27 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Negotiations are still underway to decide the fate of President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion American Jobs Plan. The plan is centered on revitalizing infrastructure across the country.

This includes renewing electric grids to provide high-speed broadband to every U.S. household.

Wi-Fi is a tool that connects everyone together. Especially during the pandemic, we’ve adapted to online work, school and zoom chats with friends. And, we’ve become more reliant on the internet for entertainment, business and health care. But, none of that is possible without reliable, high speed connection. Experts and internet users alike say investing in broadband is critical for the future of our state.

Samantha Berry is like most of us. “I use internet literally every day,” said the Hebron resident.

Berry works as a teacher’s aide by day, conference calling her students who do distance learning. By night, Berry is a student herself and does all her homework online. But, there’s a catch.

“Oh, goodness. Sometimes we just, being in a smaller community, will just lose Wi-Fi in general,” said Berry. Berry lives in the small town of Hebron.

She, and millions of other Americans living in rural areas, are constantly experiencing spotty connection.

“When the internet just doesn’t work or it’s dropped for some reason, whether it be the weather or something more unpredictable like that, it can really cause a lot of issues,” said Berry.

The American Jobs Plan outlines a path to stronger internet by building high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100-percent coverage, promoting transparency and competition and finally, reducing the cost of broadband internet service.

“There has to be that money to come in from the federal government to create these networks,” said Broadband Association of North Dakota Executive Vice President David Crothers.

David Crothers with Broadband Association of North Dakota says the plan will also help lower the cost of broadband, which is higher for customers in low-density states like North Dakota.

“The customer has to be able to afford that product. And, the government and the Biden Administration is increasingly recognizing that,” said Crothers.

He says the money will also be used to pay for ongoing changes to infrastructure and upgrades to speed that customers expect from their connection.

The President has been meeting with state mayors and governors to discuss the Plan further and reach a compromise.

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