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.