Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Should Be Provider-Neutral on Broadband, Not Favor City-Run Services, Says ITIF

June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—Following the announcement that the Biden administration and a bipartisan coalition of senators have reached an agreement on a framework for infrastructure legislation, proposing a $65 billion investment in broadband infrastructure, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from Doug Brake, ITIF’s director of broadband and spectrum policy:

ITIF welcomes the Biden administration’s endorsement of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, that includes a $65 billion investment in broadband infrastructure. Broadband is an essential infrastructure that demands government support. 

Yet if President Biden wants to see bipartisan consensus on the broadband plan, the framework must be provider-neutral and not favor city-run solutions, as referenced in the original White House proposal.

Broadband is dynamic, requiring consistent investment to keep up with technological change, and the private sector can adapt much better than local governments to drive continual improvement. City-run broadband would not serve the country well. The best way to close the digital divide is by distributing grants through an open and competitive process that is genuinely neutral with respect to technology and ownership model. 

For more information, please see ITIF’s report “Does Municipal Broadband Scale Well to Fit U.S. Broadband Needs?

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Should Be Provider-Neutral on Broadband, Not Favor City-Run Services, Says ITIF