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Senate Republicans are crying foul over a Biden administration plan to fund broadband deployment in regions that are already served with 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds.
The US Treasury Department’s recently issued final rule for distributing American Rescue Plan money eliminated an interim requirement that blocked broadband funds in areas that already have wired networks with speeds of at least 25Mbps/3Mbps. That speed threshold would leave out any area that’s already served by at least one cable provider, even if there’s no competition and no fiber-to-the-home availability.
The Treasury Department’s reversal was praised by community broadband advocates who said that keeping the original 25Mbps/3Mbps threshold could prevent deployment to large portions of the US containing more than 90 percent of Americans. The nation’s current broadband maps are also unreliable, raising the possibility that even homes without 25Mbps/3Mbps broadband access could be excluded.Read 15