“Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.”
Sam Rayburn didn’t mince words. Though he used plenty of colorful language, he knew how to get things done. Rayburn is remembered as the longest-serving Speaker of the House, holding the position for 17 years between 1940 and 1961.
(Source: Briscoe Center for American History)
But he was making a big impact well before he got to the top spot.
Rayburn supported legislation that helped rural Americans. One of the laws he helped pass during his career was the Rural Electrification Act.
In the 1930s, most cities had access to electricity. But only one in ten farms could connect to the grid. Electric companies thought it was too expensive to build transmission lines out into the countryside.
The Rural Electrification Act aimed to fix that by giving low-cost loans to rural co-ops to bring electric service to their members.
It was a huge success. And by the 1950s, it was just as easy to get electricity on a farm as it was in the city.
Now, nearly 90 years later, the federal government is helping rural Americans catch up again. This time, it’s not electricity, but internet access that’s on the line.
Here at Intelligent Income Daily, we’re focused on finding the safest income investments on the market. When the government is handing out free money, we pay attention… and look for the companies that will benefit – and reward shareholders.
Today, I’ll tell you about the billions of dollars coming to certain companies bringing broadband internet to more parts of the country. I’ll also give you the names of three companies that could claim a chunk of free money from the government… and help boost your income stream.
Internet for All
Can you imagine living your life today with dial-up internet? For millions of Americans in rural areas today, that’s their reality.
Good luck finding the information you need when it takes a minute to load each page. Say goodbye to the luxury of streaming videos on demand.
And perhaps more concerning for those hoping to work remote: Would you be able to keep your job if you don’t have the bandwidth to handle a Zoom call?
The inability to get broadband internet is holding back people who live outside of big cities. And the federal government is stepping in to help.
As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in 2021, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration established the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. It will hand out $42.5 billion in funds to expand high-speed internet access.
Right now, states are figuring out which areas they’ll direct funding from the BEAD program to. But once that’s sorted out later this year, they’ll start the process of asking for proposals and handing out awards for companies to start building.
And while much of the funding is likely to go to local and regional service providers… the big telecom companies are looking to get a slice of the pie, too.
How to Get Exposure in Your Portfolio
Here are some of the blue-chip corporations that are looking at taking a cut…
At a recent conference, AT&T (T) indicated its interest in applying for subsidies, saying that “BEAD gives you the opportunity to probably fill in areas that, economically, you might not have had high on the priority list.”
Although AT&T recently cut its dividend after spinning off Warner Media, the company is now focused on telecommunications and has a more sustainable payout. AT&T yields 7.5%.
Comcast (CMCSA) also said it is preparing to participate in the BEAD program, on an “opportunity-by-opportunity, market-by-market” basis. Comcast has been growing its dividend for 16 years and raised it by 7.4%. Shares currently yield 2.5%.
While Verizon (VZ) hasn’t committed to pursuing BEAD funding yet, it will look to participate “where it makes the most sense.” Verizon has been growing its dividend for 18 years, but at a slow pace of about 2% per year. It currently yields 7.5%.
Billions of dollars in government subsidies are coming soon through the BEAD program. This will help rural Americans get better access to high-speed internet and give a boost to telecom companies looking to expand their network and acquire new customers.
We’ll continue keeping an eye on how this trend plays out and what companies are expected to profit.
In the meantime, we have one infrastructure company in our portfolio that is sure to grow through this trend in our Intelligent Income Investor service. It’s currently trading at a discount and stands to profit big – regardless of which major corporation takes the biggest share of government money.
To learn more about it – and get our full list of passive income picks to support a stress-free lifestyle – click here to join Intelligent Income Investor.
Happy SWAN (sleep well at night) investing,
Editor, Intelligent Income Daily