forum. President Biden announced ambitious plans on March 31 «Better Rebuild» (“Better Reconstruction”), which includes a chapter on broadband access for all and research and development (R&D). The goal is: to create jobs (“U.S. Jobs Program”). Target: China. But since the end of the Cold War, few stimulus plans have produced the expected results. If the plan is passed by Congress, it will face changes in reality and vitality, which will be rapid.
According to the White House report, in 2021, “There are still more than 30 million Americans without high-speed Internet access,” According to cable operators, even 70% to 80% of American households can physically access at a maximum speed of 1 gigabit per second, which is lower than the fiber speed in France. But this is related to the city. One in five Americans live in rural areas, and 35% of them cannot get a decent speed.
For low-income families, the acceptable fee is $10 per month. Unfortunately, the price is high, between 50 and 70 US dollars per month, because there is very little competition in the fixed network: 85.4% of the population in rural areas has only one operator, while 14.6% do not.
In the United States, broadband communications are defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as 25 megabits per second (Mbps), the counterpart of the French Agency for Electronic Communications, Mailing and Newspaper Distribution (Arcep). But according to current broadband, a family of four requires a receiving speed of at least 108 Mbps.with [l’opérateur américain] AT&T predicts that by 2025, received traffic will double.
The plan discusses new networks that can stand the test of time, which shows that fiber optics can reduce the risk of obsolescence. In order to implement the bill, thirty-two Democratic representatives proposed a bill: “Tomorrow’s Leading Infrastructure Act (LIFT America)”. The broadband portion of LIFT includes US$109.3 billion, of which US$80 billion is used for 100% broadband deployment, and US$9.3 billion in price “affordability” subsidies. LIFT also hopes to remove regulations that prevent municipalities in 18 states from creating and operating networks.
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