The Internet Innovation Alliance today released the statement below in response to President Biden’s newly-released infrastructure plan:
The Internet Innovation Alliance applauds President Joe Biden for recognizing the indispensable role that broadband now plays in nearly every area of life, but is concerned by key internet-related components of his infrastructure plan. Rather than abandon subsidies that offset the cost of connectivity for low-income Americans, the Lifeline Program that provides such assistance should be modernized to empower recipients with a higher monthly benefit and funded by all players in the internet ecosystem who profit from more consumers being online.
Moreover, it’s unrealistic to think that broadband prices could be artificially lowered, as the plan recommends, to a point that they are affordable for Americans most in need of assistance, while simultaneously leaving service providers with sufficient revenue to build, upgrade and maintain the networks that keep the United States globally competitive. A modernized Lifeline Program providing adequate subsidies to ensure that those most in need are connected is a far better approach.
Instead, we urge the Administration to rapidly undertake detailed broadband mapping, connect American households using the technology that is most cost-effective for each particular community, revamp the Lifeline Program with a larger monthly benefit and expanded base of funding, and continue the time-honored, light-touch policies that encourage market competition in the rapidly evolving technology sector.