President Biden and Vice President Harris announced that they have secured private sector commitments that will lower high-speed internet costs for millions of American families. As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the President and Vice President worked with Democrats and Republicans to create the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which allows tens of millions of American households to reduce their internet service costs by up to $30/month (or $75/month on Tribal lands).
Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss announced the appointment of Dr. Revati Prasad as the Benton Institute's new Director of Research and Fellowships. Revati will recruit and manage a diverse cohort of fellows—researchers, advocates, and practitioners—and their projects supported by the newly created Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund. In addition, Dr.
President Biden has renominated Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to be a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With Alan Davidson confirmed to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), it is critical that we have a fully functioning FCC to implement much of the work Congress has directed the two agencies to do.
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, Community Informatics Lab at Simmons University, and Black Brilliance Research Project (BBR) launched the six-city Digital Equity Action Research (DEAR) Fellowship. The DEAR Fellowship is a participatory action research program for young adults, ages 19-24, that helps examine how digital inclusion coalitions understand and address the root causes of digital inequities in their communities. The fellowship started in November 2021 and will conclude with a celebration and community event in mid-January 2022.
President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key roles:
The US Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration has begun awarding its historic $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. EDA awarded $24 million in grants to states and territories across the nation for statewide planning efforts to boost economic development, enhance US competitiveness, combat the climate crisis, and recover from the pandemic. EDA will fun
USDA to Make Up to $1.15 Billion Available to Help People Living in Rural Communities Access High-Speed Internet
On November 24 the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting applications for up to $1.15 billion in loans and grants to expand the availability of broadband in rural areas.
The Department of the Treasury released guidance for the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund program established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The program allocates $10 billion for eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) established the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) and the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI). The changes to NTIA’s organizational structure were adopted on August 13, 2021, in a new Department Organization Order (DOO), which replaced a previous DOO dated September 2012.
NTIA’s Broadband Infrastructure Program Receives Over 230 Applications, More Than $2.5 Billion in Funding Requests
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has received more than 230 applications for the Broadband Infrastructure Program, for a total of more than $2.5 billion in funding requests across 49 states and US territories. NTIA has begun reviewing the applications as part of the $288 million grant program, which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Grants will be awarded to covered partnerships between a state, or political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service.