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That Spotty Wi-Fi? There’s $100 Billion to Fix It.


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Adam Bouhmad, second from right, has helped low-income families in Baltimore get affordable Internet service through his Waves project.

President Bident's $2-trillion infrastructure plan includes $100 billion to extend fast Internet access to every home.

Credit: Jared Soares/The New York Times

Kimberly Vasquez, a high school senior in Baltimore, faced a tough problem when the pandemic began. She had no fast internet service in her home, but all her classes were online.

Marigold Lewi, a sophomore at the same school, was regularly booted off Zoom classes because of her slow home connection.

Ms. Lewi spent a lot of time explaining Zoom absences to teachers. Ms. Vasquez sat outside local libraries to use their internet access and at times used her phone. The two of them helped push a successful public campaign for better and free service to low-income families in the city.

“It was very chaotic,” Ms. Vasquez said. “We had to do this because no one else was going to change things.”

A year after the pandemic turned the nation's digital divide into an education emergency, President Biden, inheriting the problem, is making affordable broadband a top priority, comparing it to the effort to spread electricity across the country. His $2 trillion infrastructure plan, announced on Wednesday, includes $100 billion to extend fast internet access to every home.

From The New York Times
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