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March 23, 2022

VP Harris Unveils Plan to Bring Broadband Coverage to All Communities

On March 21, 2022, Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, outlined her plan to provide high-speed internet access to every community in the United States. The proposal would use federal resources to connect rural and low-income areas that currently do not have access to broadband service. VP Harris believes that no American should be left behind when it comes to technology and its ability to improve our lives.

VP Harris wants to ensure that all communities have access to the internet so that no one is denied opportunities because of where they live. She reiterated the importance of this issue and vowed to work hard on behalf of all Americans. "This will be an amazing achievement for all United States citizens. It's hard to believe that in 2022 there are still many areas of the USA that have no internet access coverage", said Michael Goldstein of LAN Infotech.

"To me, this is very similar to the Federal-Aid Highway Act that was signed into law in 1956. At the time, having highways across the entire US gave equal footing to many people that hadn't had full access before. This allowed many more businesses to be created and gave many people mobility they lacked before. The administration wants to do the same thing with Broadband Internet. As important as highways were in the 1950s, having access to high-speed Internet is much more important to the ability to function as a citizen in the USA. This helps lay the foundation for everyone to have access. This is a much-needed step", said Michael Nelson of TLC Tech.

VP Harris believes that every community in America deserves high-speed internet access, regardless of income levels or geographic location. VP Harris has been a champion of this cause, and she knows that access to high-speed internet is essential for education. The plan is to deliver high-speed internet to remote areas across the country so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and succeed.

"Amongst the many benefits of giving high-speed Internet across the United States are the ability for many to get additional educational opportunities which they would not have had before, more healthcare access, increased economic growth, and household income. The big elephant in the room is cost and the required infrastructure to deliver high-speed Internet across the United States. Who will the government partner up with to do the necessary work, which the cable providers have ignored for all these years, we just don't know", said Ilan Sredni of Palindrome Consulting, Inc.

"The possibility of offering high-speed internet to all corners of the United States is an easy win for all residents, both short and long term. The term "digital divide" sometimes gets lost in the noise of buzzwords and current political temperatures, but the impact is very real. Communities and individuals without access to high-speed internet are at a disadvantage and the gap will consistently widen over time. We can see this currently in underserved areas of the United States and this mirrors the most severe chasms found in underdeveloped countries", said Jeremy Kushner of BACS IT Consulting.

VP Harris added that Americans have become more reliant on the internet since the pandemic began two years ago. "Just looking at the impact of COVID on learning over the past two years, the education experience was greatly diminished for all students. However, for those without access to high-speed internet, it was impacted to the point of systemic failure. We will be paying the price for these deficiencies long into the future. However, looking beyond the short-term, the successful digitalization of society and the benefits it will offer are massive. With universal access across every geography, this can be more rapidly adopted and the benefits more quickly realized", added Kushner.

Mark Veldhoff, CEO and Founder of Envizion IT has first-hand experience on what it's the lack to be on the wrong side of an internet connection. "Coming from a rural farm community in Michigan, the simplest things are difficult. We currently use wireless repeaters from corn silos to get internet in our communities because the telephone lines don't support the internet and the cable companies will not build out coax or fiber. Not only is streaming difficult on this wireless, but simple things like MFA (News - Alert) take several minutes for emails and text messages to come through. This makes people want to skip critical online safety", said Veldhoff.

One of the biggest challenges facing the rollout of high-speed internet is reaching remote areas. "I agree that all citizens should have access to high-speed internet. I do not know how the government plans on subsidizing these remote locations as well as big cities, but if the majority of those who cannot afford or do not have access to it, this is a start and, hopefully, the systems we have can handle these initiatives. It would be ideal for the government to back a newer ISP that does not already have a monopoly on an area. This would allow competition to gain in a space that has little to no other options", said Robert Giannini of GiaSpace.

While many agree with VP Harris about the internet being a necessity in the 21st century, there are concerns about how the Biden Administration will overcome the roadblocks that will meet them along the way. "The difficult part about providing high-speed internet to everyone in the United States would be its provisioning for rural residents. The difficulty and cost associated with a scale of this size create a considerable challenge for service providers. Being able to provide high-speed internet to cities and their suburbs has not been a difficult task for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Rather, it is the cost of providing this type of service to rural residents that creates a roadblock", said Nick Martin of Mainstreet IT Solutions.

Martin continued, "Vice President Harris is correct when she states that many rural residents rely on satellite or old dial-up internet connections. It is due to their low cost of getting services available for these remote locations that make these solutions are so appealing. Satellite can be uploaded from any remote location, while dial-up relies on old telephone cabling already available. It'll take a special collaboration between government agencies and ISPs to create a method to the madness of bringing it to everyone in the United States."

Anthony Buonaspina, BSEE, BSCS, CPACC, CEO and Founder of LI Tech Advisors understands the importance of the internet and everyone having access to it, but he does not think the Biden Administration fully understands what this entails. "I just see this a political ploy being dished out during an election year. I don't see this making much of a difference for mainstream America", said Buonaspina.

"VP Harris is just talking about connecting "everyone" to "the Fiber Optic Network". I really don't think she understands what that means. First off, she is talking about bringing fiber to rural America again, when we can't even get fiber in a medium-income area of Setauket Long Island. I think Biden and Harris need to fire their technical advisors and use that money to upgrade the entire infrastructure and not just rural America. This way, more people can work remotely, especially as gas hits $6 a gallon and most of the roads look like minefields with all the potholes from neglect", Buonaspina added.

The high-speed internet plan is an important part of the administration's agenda, and VP Harris is leading the charge to make it a reality.

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