President Joe Biden announced legislation yesterday, known as the American Jobs Plan, to upgrade the infrastructure of the United States, modernizing 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets; 10,000 bridges; and rail corridors and transit lines. Additionally, the bill would fund the building a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations and the creation of jobs in the manufacturing and export of clean electric cars and trucks.
But what caught the attention of the communications infrastructure industry was the $100 billion earmarked to address the needs of millions of Americans that lack access to reliable high-speed Internet, which, he said, includes more than 35 percent of rural America.
“It’s a disparity even more pronounced during this pandemic,” Biden said. “American Jobs will make sure every single American has access to high quality, affordable, high-speed Internet for businesses, for schools.”
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) was appreciative of Biden’s focus on broadband in the American Jobs Plan.
“WIA and the wireless industry is pleased that President Biden is committed to bringing ubiquitous broadband to the United States,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “As the plan is considered by Congress, broadband funding should be truly technology-neutral so it gets the most bandwidth to consumers using the most cost-efficient means, which certainly includes 5G.”
President Biden has also proposed a $48 billion investment focused on registered apprenticeship. This could benefit the national registered apprenticeship program sponsored by WIA, called the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP).
“WIA further appreciates the administration’s commitment to supporting partnerships with community colleges and employers and to bolstering opportunity for disadvantaged and underrepresented populations to enter infrastructure jobs like those that TIRAP addresses,” Adelstein said.