States scramble to extend broadband within CARES Act deadline

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Officials from every state are working to comply with the rules of the CARES Act, specifically those concerning broadband internet, as the December 30 deadline draws nearer. 

On March 25, in a unanimous vote, 96-0, the Senate approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This was the third bipartisan bill responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bureaucrats and politicians from states across the U.S. are trying to expand broadband internet to underserved areas to meet CARES Act requirements. They have the federal funds available now that were appropriated for COVID-19 response, but the deadline for project completion is the end of 2020.

Everyone is scrambling to extend the internet, but a public works project of this size usually takes years to plan and build. So it’s no surprise that rolling out broadband is a slow process. Many states are concerned that they will have trouble meeting the deadline. 

The end-of-the-year rules don’t just apply to broadband, however. Housing and other sectors are being impacted.