A new plan that will expand Americans’ access to affordable Internet and provide high-speed broadband lines and a wireless network for police and firefighters could cost up to $25 billion, Wall Street Journal reported today.
The National Broadband Plan, which will be released in mid-March by the Federal Communications Commission, will include an outline of the Obama administration’s initiative to expand Internet service to all Americans. The plan suggests that Congress spend $12 billion to $16 billion for the wireless Internet network for police and firefighters, as well as allocate more airwaves for wireless broadband services.
According to FCC, 4 percent of American households currently do not have access to high-speed Internet service, mostly because they live in rural areas where it is more expensive for companies to offer service. The plan suggests that $9 billion in federal spending would bring broadband to rural areas faster. FCC officials, however, say they do not believe Congress is likely to endorse more broadband spending. That $9 billion would be in addition to the $7.2 billion for broadband lines Congress included in the economic-stimulus legislation, according to Wall Street Journal.