Melissa Roach pays $120 per month for internet at her home in Saint Louis County, Minnesota — and it is not always reliable. Amid the pandemic, her family had been scheduling time to be on the computer for it to work. And the best time to upload photos? The middle of the night. Her family's best solution for reliable internet is running a new line up the driveway. That cost: $8,000. Millions of people across the country are, like Roach, struggling with a lack of access or unaffordable internet — a massive economic and educational obstacle. "Some people may be able to afford it. For my family it's an incredible amount," Roach said earlier this year. "The fact of the matter is we have to close the digital divide. Period," said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the White House on Tuesday, noting the coronavirus pandemic exposed just how detrimental internet access is. "And this infrastructure bill will allow us to do that." The bipartisan infrastructure bill, awaiting President Joe Biden's signature, includes $65 billion for broadband. Raimondo's department will administer more than $45 billion. She said that money will bring high-speed, affordable internet to all Americans regardless of where they live. "Beyond the physical infrastructure — laying fiber — affordability is just as important," Raimondo said. "It does a family no good if there's broadband in their community but they can't afford it." The goal is for the new spending on broadband to address both. Raimondo called it a "massive" undertaking for her department but one they're up for. However, many questions about how the money will be administered and when projects would get underway remain. Each state will receive at least $100 million for broadband. The rest of the money will be allocated based on need, depending on how many households are unserved and underserved in each state. Raimondo said her department would work closely with the Federal Communications Commission, using their maps to fo . . . read the full article here.