Fact Sheet: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Over $40 Billion to Connect Everyone in America to Affordable, Reliable, High-Speed Internet

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Largest Internet Funding Announcement in History Kicks Off Administration-Wide Investing in America Tour

High-speed internet is no longer a luxury – it is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school, access health care, and to stay connected with family and friends. Yet, more than 8.5 million households and small businesses are in areas where there is no high-speed internet infrastructure, and millions more struggle with limited or unreliable internet options. Just like Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act brought electricity to nearly every home and farm in America, President Biden and Vice President Harris are delivering on their historic commitment to connect everyone in America to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by the end of the decade.

Today, the Department of Commerce announced funding for each state, territory and the District of Columbia for high-speed internet infrastructure deployment through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program—a $42.45 billion grant program created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered by the Department of Commerce. This announcement—the largest internet funding announcement in history—kicks off the three-week Administration-wide Investing in America tour, where President Biden, Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Cabinet members, and Senior Administration Officials will fan out across the country to highlight investments, jobs, and projects made possible by President Biden’s economic agenda.

Among the highlights:

  • Awards range from $27 million to over $3.3 Billion, with every state receiving a minimum of $107 million.
  • 19 states received allocations over $1 billion with the top 10 allocations in Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
  • With these allocations and other Biden administration investments, all 50 states, DC, and the territories now have the resources to connect every resident and small business to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030.

Details related to the BEAD allocation for the states, D.C., and territories, as well as the total Federal investment in high-speed internet in each State and Territory are available here.

In addition to helping connect everyone in America to high-speed internet, this funding will support manufacturing jobs and crowd in private sector investment by using materials Made in America.  For example, anticipating this major investment in high-speed internet infrastructure deployment, earlier this year, fiber optic cable manufacturers CommScope and Corning announced $47 million and $500 million expansions of their domestic manufacturing capacity, which will create hundreds of good-paying American jobs in North Carolina. These investments are part of the nearly $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments spurred by the President’s Investing in America agenda. The Investing in America agenda represents the most significant upgrade to our nation’s infrastructure in generations—an investment larger than FDR’s Rural Electrification effort, Eisenhower’s effort to build the Interstate Highway system, and the construction of the Panama Canal.

Internet for All

Today’s announcement of BEAD funds is just one component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.  In recent weeks, the Administration has announced over $700 million in USDA ReConnect awards, over $900 million in NTIA Middle Mile awards and launched the Online for All campaign to increase ACP enrollment and visibility.   Beyond BEAD, billions have already been announced or distributed to all states and territories to build out high-speed internet infrastructure by the Biden-Harris Administration.

In addition to BEAD, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes:

  • $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households up to $30/month (up to $75/month on qualifying Tribal Lands) off their internet bill, as well as a one-time $100 toward a desktop, laptop or tablet computer offered by participating internet service providers. Thanks to commitments by over 20 internet service providers, millions of Americans are using the Affordable Connectivity Program to access internet for free. Today, 19 million Americans are enrolled in this program. Households can check their eligibility and sign up at GetInternet.gov.
  • $2.75 billion for the Digital Equity Act, which provides grants to ensure communities have the skills and support needed to take advantage of high-speed internet connections;
  • An additional $2 billion for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which provides grants to federally recognized Tribal governments, Tribal organizations, Tribal Colleges and Universities, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and Alaska Native Corporations for high-speed internet deployment on Tribal lands, as well as for telehealth, distance learning, high-speed internet affordability, and digital inclusion;  
  • $2 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Reconnect Program, which provides loans and grants primarily to build high-speed internet infrastructure in eligible rural areas;  
  • $1 billion for the Middle Mile Program, which provides funding for the “middle mile” backbone of internet networks.

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan also included over $25 billion for high-speed internet, including:

  • The Department of Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF) provides $10 billion to states, territories, and Tribes for which high-speed internet is an eligible use. Today, over $7 billion has already been dedicated to high-speed internet deployment and connectivity across 45 states;
  • The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) delivered funding across the country to support the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. About $8 billion is being used by states, territories, Tribes, and local governments for high-speed internet deployment and connectivity; and,
  • The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) $7 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund program helped schools and libraries close the “homework gap,” providing schools and libraries with 10.5 million connected devices and over 5 million internet connections.

Additional information on Biden-Harris high-speed internet programs and funding is available at InternetForAll.Gov. 

Thank you, broadband coverage map challengers! 

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This is a great big ‘thank you” to MU Extension staff and faculty in 34 counties who helped 186 people submit challenges to the Federal Communications Commission broadband coverage maps.

The maps will be used to calculate Missouri’s share of $42.45 billion in federal funds to expand access and use in every community. Their accuracy is vital.

The state Office of Broadband Development estimates the additional dollar value from those 186 challenges alone at $810,000, said Alison Copeland, UM System deputy chief engagement officer.

A special shout-out goes to Knox, Cole, Cape Girardeau, Gentry, Johnson, Hickory, Vernon and Ste. Francois counties for organizing challenge events. The UM System Broadband Initiative and state Office of Broadband Development also appreciated that several counties flagged issues with the process and maps, Copeland said. This recent article highlights another important UM System broadband initiative: the effort to build out the Digital Asset Map inventory. This online tool aims to offer a comprehensive statewide inventory of public computers and Wi-Fi access locations as well as digital resources such as computer classes, one-on-one technical assistance centers and adult/workforce education programs. Please share this information in your communities, too!

FCC RELEASES BROADBAND FUNDING MAP

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FCC RELEASES BROADBAND FUNDING MAP
WC Docket No. 11-10
WC Docket No. 19-195
The Office of Economics and Analytics, in conjunction with the Wireline Competition Bureau,
announces the release of the Broadband Funding Map. The Broadband Funding Map and the map’s
underlying data can be found at https://fundingmap.fcc.gov/.
Section 60105 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) requires the Commission “to
establish an online mapping tool to provide a locations overview of the overall geographic footprint of
each broadband infrastructure deployment project funded by the Federal Government.” The map
released today contains data received from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the Department of Treasury as well as
the Commission’s own data. Any funding data that are submitted to the Commission by other federal
agencies in the future will be added to the map as part of regular updates the Commission will make to the
map in accordance with the IIJA.
The Broadband Funding Map allows users to identify, search, and filter federal funding programs
by the Internet Service Provider receiving funding, the duration timeline, the number of locations
included in the project, and the download and upload speeds.3
In addition to depicting where broadband funding exists, the Broadband Funding Map contains
broadband availability data as of June 30, 2022—the same data that currently appear on the National
Broadband Map.4 When the Commission releases more recent availability data on the National
Broadband Map, the Broadband Funding Map will be updated as well.
-FCC

USDA Offers New Funding to Promote the Expansion of High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas

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Contact: press@oc.usda.gov NEWS RELEASE USDA Offers New Funding to Promote the Expansion of High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas $20 million in Technical Assistance Funding is Available to Plan High-Speed Internet Projects in Rural Communities WASHINGTON, April 17, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $20 million to deliver broadband technical assistance resources for rural communities, and to support the development and expansion of broadband cooperatives. USDA is offering the funding under the new Broadband Technical Assistance Program. The program supports technical assistance projects such as conducting feasibility studies, completing network designs and developing broadband financial assistance applications. Funding is also available to help organizations access federal resources, and to conduct data collection and reporting.   “USDA is committed to making sure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet. That’s how you grow the economy – not just in rural communities, but across the nation,” said USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small. “USDA is partnering with small towns, local utilities and cooperatives, and private companies to increase access to this critical service which in turn boosts opportunity and helps build bright futures.”  To learn more, read the full news release.

NTIA requesting comments on the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program

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NTIA requesting comments on the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) included historic funding for connectivity, including $2.75 billion for the Digital Equity Act (DEA). The DEA is composed of the State Digital Equity Planning Grant, State Digital Equity Capacity Grant, and Digital Equity Competitive Grant. The Office of Broadband Development (OBD) is currently in the Planning Grant phase and drafting the State Digital Equity Plan.

As the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) prepares to begin accepting applications for the Capacity and Competitive Grant programs, they have begun soliciting feedback from the public on how to design these programs to most effectively deliver on their mandate.

OBD will be submitting a comment and actively encourages any and all digital inclusion practitioners, relevant stakeholders, and concerned members of the public to issue a comment. NTIA relies on the feedback of citizens and organizations to tailor these programs to their unique needs. The comment period opened on March 2, 2023, and will close at 4 p.m. CST on May 1, 2023.

Comments can be submitted via the following:

Using the federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method). The docket established for this opportunity to comment can be found at Regulations.gov, NTIA-2023-0002. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Sending email to digitalequity@ntia.gov. Include the docket number NTIA-2023-0002 in the subject line of the message.

Mailing a printed submission to National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4878, Washington, DC 20230, Attention: Digital Equity RFC.

Please direct questions regarding the public comment period to digitalequity@ntia.gov, indicating “Notice and Request for Comment” in the subject line, or if by mail, addressed to Angela Thi Bennett, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; or by telephone: (202) 482-2048.

Please direct media inquiries to NTIA’s Office of Public Affairs, press@ntia.gov or (202) 482-7002. (National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 2023)

Request for Public Input:

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Digital Demonstration Projects Grant Program

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is requesting public feedback on draft guidelines for its Digital Demonstration Projects Grant Program, funded through Missouri’s share of the Digital Equity Act Planning Grant. This $250,000 program will help the Office of Broadband better understand, develop, and implement programming that furthers the goal of digital equity and inclusion in Missouri.

The public input survey, linked below, will assist DED in creating the program guidelines, which will determine use of grant funds, application evaluation criteria, and eligible applicants.

The public input survey is open now, and you may provide feedback until January 27, 2023, at 3 p.m. CST. If you are unable to submit comments online, you may submit comments by contacting us at 573-526-5415. More information is available on DEDs Connecting All Missourians webpage.

Take the Survey

Creative Digital Skills

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Completing tasks and projects using creative programs and tools: