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Street scene in San Jose, California. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

The San Jose City Council approved the first batch of community grants as part of the city's Digital Inclusion Fund intended to connect unserved residents to broadband.

Why it matters: The Digital Inclusion Fund was established a year ago during negotiations with 5G providers wanting to erect small cell antennas on city infrastructure. A portion of lease revenue collected from telecom companies goes into the fund — along with significant private funding — to help connect unserved residents.

Details: In the heart of Silicon Valley, 95,0000 San Jose residents do not have broadband access.

  • Over the next 10 years, the Digital Inclusion Fund will connect 50,000 San Jose households with universal device access and connectivity with speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mpbs upload.
  • Community organizations receiving the grants will also help improve digital skills proficiency.
  • The non-profit California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is managing the fund and helping to raise additional private funding to reach the $24 million goal, per a city press release.

Why you'll hear about this again: Dozens of cities, including San Jose, are in a legal battle with the Federal Communications Commission over the agency's rules limiting the fees cities can charge telecom companies for access to city property to install 5G equipment.

  • San Jose struck a deal with wireless carriers: The companies would get a discount on access to city infrastructure in exchange for a commitment to build out the 5G network across the city. Some of the revenue from the small cell lease agreements would go toward the Digital Inclusion Fund to help fill coverage gaps.
  • San Jose's negotiations with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile were completed before the FCC's rules, which discourage cities from negotiating arrangements like San Jose's, went into effect last year.
  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case earlier this month and a decision is expected later this year.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ro Khanna accuses Biden of quitting Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

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Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.