Relief Bill Includes Billions Of Dollars Earmarked For Broadband

Matty-Sways

The new relief bill includes $7 billion set aside to increase broadband access for low-income Americans ($50 a month).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer issued a release saying the relief will go to “help[ing] millions of students, families and unemployed workers afford the broadband they need during the pandemic.” The Bill also set aside $1.9 billion to “rip and replace” ZTE and Huawei equipment. Huawei in particular has been a longtime target for the U.S. government.

More legislation earlier this year officially barred U.S. companies from purchasing networking equipment from both companies and with the “rip and replace” plans for existing service, it doesn't look promising that a truce will occur soon.

A Huawei spokesperson earlier noted, “to force removal of our products from telecommunications networks. This overreach puts U.S. citizens at risk in the largely underserved rural areas — during a pandemic — when reliable communication is essential.”

What the future hold for companies like Huawei and ZTE under the incoming Biden administration is unclear. But restriction against China is the only thing that the politicians can agree on as the Commerce Department recently added an additional 77 names to the Entity List, including prominent Chinese firms DJI and SMIC.

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