On Sept. 16, Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Bill Foster, D-Ill., introduced bipartisan legislation to advance quantum technology through the Quantum Network Infrastructure Act of 2020.

“Quantum technology enables us to store significantly more information, faster, more securely and more efficiently, improving our lives and nation with everything from healthcare to national security to the financial sector,” Rep. Zeldin said in a press release.

According to the release, the bill would establish a national R&D program for advancing the nation’s quantum network infrastructure and accelerate the widespread implementation of quantum tech. If enacted, $100 million would be appropriated to carry out responsibilities of the legislation for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

The Department of Energy would be responsible for carrying out the R&D program and the Secretary would coordinate with the Director of the National Science Foundation, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Chair of the subcommittee on Quantum Information Science of the National Science and Technology Council, and the Chair of the subcommittee on Economic and Security Implications of Quantum Science.

The R&D program is intended to facilitate the advancement of distributed quantum computing systems through the internet and intranet; improve the precision of measurements of scientific phenomena and physical imaging technologies; and develop secure national quantum communications technologies and strategies.

According to the legislation, the research is focused on facilitating new quantum infrastructure methods and technologies, including the development of quantum memory buffers and small-scale quantum computers; quantum routers, multiplexers, repeaters, and related technologies necessary to create secure long-distance quantum communication; and quantum interconnects that allow short range local connections between quantum processors.

“Thanks to investments in our nation’s best and brightest scientists, we’re now closer than ever to a large-scale implementation of this technology, and we’re not slowing down now,” said Rep. Zeldin, who co-chairs the National Labs Caucus with Foster.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.