Biden, top Democrats lay groundwork for multibillion dollar push to boost U.S. broadband

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Their first major opportunity could come as part of a new coronavirus stimulus package, a top priority for Biden as he prepares to enter the White House in January. The president-elect previously endorsed a House-passed relief bill that includes $4 billion in emergency funds to help low-income Americans stay online in a pandemic that has left tens of millions out of work and strapped for cash. Biden also reaffirmed his commitment to universal broadband on Tuesday as part of a broader preview of his economic-recovery agenda.Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), a top Biden ally who led a broadband task force this year, said he “absolutely” expected the president-elect to move aggressively on the issue within his first 100 days in office. He acknowledged this week that lawmakers “still expect to get some opposition from Republicans” on additional spending, but he expressed optimism that the inequalities brought to light by the worsening coronavirus pandemic might spur Congress to act.“Broadband in this century must be treated as electricity was in the 20th century,” Clyburn said.For years, U.S. policymakers have warned about the persistent nature of the country’s digital divide, the lingering gap between those who can access the …

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