November 22, 2021 – A total of around $ 1 billion could be made available for broadband under the Build Back Better Act.
Approved by the House on Friday, the $ 1.7 trillion bill will go to the Senate for review this week.
Of the $ 1 billion allocated for broadband, the majority of funds – $ 475 million – would be used to fund grants for devices such as laptops and tablets administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency of the department. Trade. An additional $ 300 million would provide additional funding to the Federal Communications Commission Emergency Connectivity Fund, which addresses distance learning needs in schools and libraries, while $ 100 million would fund outreach and education. FCC education about its broadband accessibility programs.
In its current form, the NTIA would also receive an additional $ 280 million in grants for public-private pilot projects aimed at increasing access to affordable broadband in urban communities.
Meanwhile, $ 12 million would be used to establish councils for further broadband expansion, including $ 7 million to create a Council for the Future of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Commerce that would show how 6G wireless can serving low-income communities; and $ 5 million to create an Urban and Suburban Broadband Advisory Committee.
The final broadband provisions of the bill could be revised or removed once the Senate negotiations to start. To pass the Senate, the bill needs the support of the 50 Democratic senators and to avoid partisan disruption.
Millions of broadband users exposed to hackers
Millions of Sky Broadband customers have been vulnerable to hackers for over a year.
A software bug affected around six million UK firm routers that allowed hackers to infiltrate home networks, Yahoo reported Friday.
The bug, which has since been fixed, took 18 months to resolve. A hacker could have “reconfigured a home router” by directing the user to a malicious website with a phishing email. According to Pen Test Partners, the security firm that discovered the bug, hackers could have “taken control of someone’s online life” by stealing passwords for banking, investing and social media .
“We take the safety and security of our customers very seriously,” Sky said. After being alerted to the risk, we started to work to find a solution to the problem and we can confirm that a fix has been provided to all products manufactured by Sky.
Pen testing partners Ken munro said he was baffled by Sky’s delay in fixing the bug. “While the coronavirus pandemic has put many internet service providers under pressure, as people have started working from home, it takes more than a year to fix an easily exploitable security flaw just isn’t acceptable, ”he said. Munro recommends that anyone with a router change the default password.
Rural ISP Owner Aims To Bring Internet To Rural Louisiana
The owner of a rural Internet service provider in Louisiana aims to bring broadband to St. Mary’s County.
Chris Fisher, owner of Cajun Broadband, detailed a grant application that he will submit to the Granting Underserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities program. The program, funded by the Louisiana Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity, oversees spending of $ 180 million in federal funds to provide broadband to 400,000 homes in the state.
The Fisher grant asks for $ 800,000 to provide Internet service to nearly 600 residents of St. Mary’s County. He says he has been the only ISP to approach County Council on the advisability since May.
“I didn’t realize the need for rural broadband until I started my business, which initially started because my kids couldn’t access the Internet,” Fisher said. Fisher estimates that it will cost between $ 10 million and $ 15 million to connect rural areas of the parish to the Internet.
A board member said the plan was long overdue. “We’ve been talking about this for years and we all agree that we need to do something to increase access for all citizens in our parish, not just the better off. It’s a do or die, once in a lifetime opportunity.