What are the ramifications for the in-building wireless community?
The $ 1 Trillion infrastructure Bill, once it is signed by the President, should turn into a huge windfall for cable and wireless carriers nationwide. Some of this money will be allocated to the States and available through grants.
Is there any doubt that having a connection to the internet is necessary for carrying on a “normal” existence in this day and age? Yet millions of Americans either have no available internet connection or do not take advantage of the available local connection (possibly because of affordability). President Biden’s Infrastructure bill now winding its way through Congress will address both of these issues with funding for the following endeavors
-Almost $3 billion for internet literacy programs that include seniors
-$42 billion for States to determine their Broadband needs and to fund installation projects
-$14 billion for vouchers to low income families to pay for the internet. This will be in the form of $30/month vouchers
-$1 billion to help connect smaller providers to the larger network infrastructure
–2 billion for the NTIA (run by Commerce dept) for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program
And many more such programs.
How will this Bill affect the In Building Wireless space?
Money has been allocated for WiFi in residential spaces but it unclear if this includes funding for In Building cell phone coverage, WiFi calling or any Public Safety coverage. As the information unfolds, there will be opportunity to learn what firms and what sectors will benefit the most. It is clear however that the Commerce Department will have a great deal of power to pick winners and losers in this mix. They will be instrumental in deciding how the $42 billion (mentioned above) will be spent.
“It (the bill) recognizes the private model of broadband deployment in the United States, with targeted public support in unserved or hard to reach communities, is the key to achieving 100% connectivity,” USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter said in a statement.
Since nearly 80% of calls and data requests are initiated indoors, it makes sense to focus on coverage where people most need it and want it. This certainly opens the doors to better indoor coverage so that the promise of good voice and data coverage can be realized. This certainly can open the floodgates for companies in the in building wireless space to see a windfall from this huge amount of new spending that the Infrastructure Bill will unleash.
“States and cities must now leverage these resources for the deployment of free Wi-Fi networks in low-income apartment buildings; investments in marketing and direct outreach campaigns to unconnected households; and the creation and staffing of broadband adoption centers,” Evan Marwell, chief executive of the EducationSuperHighway, said in a statement. “We have a historic opportunity to build a nation with no home left offline.”
Get in the game all you service and infrastructure providers!!!!