US unveils $42bn universal internet access fund | India charges up battery subsidies
US unveils $42 billion of national funding to plug gaps in internet access
The multibillion dollar investment makes up part of president Joe Biden’s new economic policy campaign launched on Monday. The funding will be split between the nation’s 50 states and US territories following a newly released Federal Communications Commission coverage map that identifies gaps in access.
The two most heavily populated states, Texas and California, will receive the largest investment at $3.1bn and $1.9bn respectively, but every state will bag at least a minimum of $107 million.
“It’s the biggest investment in high-speed internet ever,” Biden said in a White House address on Monday. “Because for today’s economy to work for everyone, internet access is just as important as electricity, or water, or other basic services.”
Amazon cloud unit to inject just shy of $8 billion in Ohio
The $7.8 billion investment comes as the e-commerce giant strives to expand its data centre operations.
Amazon has already injected $6.3bn in the state since 2015 to meet a rise in demand for cloud services from C-suite executives and government bodies. According to the company, this new investment will generate hundreds of jobs and support thousands at local businesses via multiple roles at Amazon Web Services facilities.
Elsewhere, Amazon is setting its sights on India aiming to invest $12.7 bn in the country by the end of this decade.
India charges up for multibillion-dollar battery subsidies
India has drafted a proposal for a production-linked subsidy scheme that would offer $2.63 billion over the next six years for companies to manufacture battery cells in the country.
The plan acknowledged there was a limit to how much more coal power India could build, cited as one of the main reasons for battery subsidies, but battery cell manufacturing is also essential to reduce the country’s dependence on rival China for battery imports – as a lot of manufacturing hubs globally are trying to do.
The proposal document observed by the Financial Times said: “If India does not take urgent steps to set up local manufacturing capacity of battery energy storage systems, imperatives of our energy transition would lead to huge imports from China.”
EU countries and lawmakers reach data rule deal targeting Big Tech
The Data Act will govern how Big Tech firms use European consumer and corporate data with safeguards against non-EU governments gaining illegal access, EU countries and lawmakers decided.
After several hours of talks, it was agreed that the new legislation will give both individuals and businesses more control over their data generated through smart objects, machines and devices, allowing them to copy or transfer data easily from across different services.
It will also give consumers and companies a say on what can be done with the data generated by their connected products.
“Tonight’s agreement on the Data Act is a milestone in reshaping the digital space…we are on the way of a thriving EU data economy that is innovative and open — on our conditions,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said in a tweet.
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