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Trump Administration Officially Announces Broadband as Part of Infrastructure Package

Andrew Feinberg

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WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would add broadband internet access to his $1 trillion infrastructure proposal drew praise from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai despite the lack of details regarding how the Trump Administration would go about promoting more widespread broadband deployment.

“I am grateful to President Trump for his leadership on expanding high-speed internet access in rural America,” Pai said in a statement, adding that closing the digital divide should be a “national priority,” and that the President’s announcement shows great promise for solving that problem.

In a Wednesday evening speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump said:

We must also ensure that these students have the broadband Internet access they need in order to succeed and thrive in this new and very modern and very changed economy and world. That is why I will be including a provision in our infrastructure proposal -- $1 trillion proposal -- you'll be seeing it very shortly -- to promote and foster enhanced broadband access for rural America also. We know that Wall Street wants it very badly, but you know what else? The farmers also want it. And you're going to have it.

But despite Trump’s announcement, his administration has provided no details regarding how such plans would be put into place.

Pai has championed “Gigabit Opportunity Zones,” which would provide tax incentives for companies to build out networks in underserved urban areas.

On Thursday President Trump will meet with a number of technology industry executives to discuss so-called 5th Generation, or 5G, wireless services and their impact on the emerging American economy.

(Photo of Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore used with permission.)

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