Half of that would cover internet access for low-income families.
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This story originally appeared on Engadget
The long-awaited COVID-19 relief bill from Congress could be good news for those who need to learn and work remotely during the pandemic. Axios has learned that the package includes $ 7 billion in broadband access under the newly agreed contract. About $ 3.2 billion of that would be used for a broadband emergency benefit (spurred by Senator Ron Wyden's Legislature) that would provide low-income families with $ 50 a month for internet access, class work and remote control jobs is vital.
The rest of the bill is mixed up, according to a Capitol Hill adviser. It provides $ 1 billion for tribal broadband initiatives. About $ 300 million would be used for rural broadband, $ 285 million would support a broadband pilot for communities near historically black colleges, $ 250 million would be used for the FCC's telemedicine push, and $ 65 million US dollars would support broadband mapping. $ 1.9 billion is earmarked for the replacement of Huawei and ZTE devices – this is not just about improving access.
There's no certainty that the $ 7 billion will be enough to keep broadband going through 2021 and the (hopeful) recovery from the pandemic. However, it could provide internet access for those who need it most, and some of the projects could form the basis for future broadband rollouts.