The House and Senate have passed legislation that would allow the federal government to issue a blanket $1.6 trillion stimulus to address the crisis of the nation’s aging, antiquated broadband infrastructure.
But the measure is not yet signed by President Donald Trump.
The new $1 billion stimulus, which includes $200 billion for broadband and $600 billion for rural broadband, is part of a broader $1 trillion plan approved by the Senate in July.
But the bill does not go as far as some analysts had hoped.
The measure is designed to give the federal budget authority to help stimulate the economy by giving states more flexibility to allocate the money.
But it does not specifically call for more federal money to help support broadband.
Instead, it asks Congress to give states the ability to offer incentives to lure new providers into the market.
States have been given a choice to offer incentive programs to lure high-speed broadband to their communities.
For example, the Congressional Research Service reports that “some states have been considering offering incentives to attract broadband providers to their towns or to offer them tax credits for building broadband infrastructure.”
States have also been given the option to waive some federal laws, including the Communications Act of 1934 and the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, which limit the federal role in the broadband market.
But those provisions are not included in the House-passed bill, and it does nothing to repeal them.
The House bill is likely to be approved by both chambers of Congress, which is the process by which the president signs legislation into law.
The Senate’s bill, meanwhile, is still in a state of flux.
The legislation has been approved by at least six Republican senators and two Democratic senators, but has yet to be signed by the president.
The White House and congressional Democrats have not ruled out a possible veto of the House bill, but a spokeswoman for the president said that he “remains confident” that the measure will pass.
While the measure would allow states to offer $1 million incentives for new broadband providers, it would not allow them to waive federal laws.
The bill would also exempt “telecommunications service providers,” but that provision has not been included in any of the legislation.
The Congressional Research Services, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress that tracks legislation, said that states could offer incentives for the new providers to provide a faster, cheaper service.