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.
President Joe Biden and the bipartisan group of lawmakers announced agreement on the details of a once-in-a-generation investment in US infrastructure, which will be taken up in the Senate for consideration. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes a total $550 billion in new federal infrastructure investment.
Over four million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, the nation’s largest broadband affordability program to date. The $3.2 billion subsidy program initiated by Congress provides a temporary $50 to $75 discount on eligible households’ internet bills during the duration of the pandemic. “We’ve made terrific progress," said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, "but the [Federal Communications Commission] remains committed to building on this initial momentum so we can connect as many families as possible and help those struggling to get online.” Since the p
Consumer Reports launches Broadband Together — a nationwide search for the truth about your internet service
In a first-of-its-kind effort, the Broadband Together initiative is asking people across the country to share their monthly internet bills — so we can find out what we’re really getting for our money, and advocate for a better internet that costs less. Consumer Reports is asking thousands of consumers to share their monthly internet bills at broadbandtogether.org so CR can analyze the cost, quality, and speeds that are being delivered to people in communities across the US, and to bet
President Biden and Vice President Harris announced their support for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century – an investment that will make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just. The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is a critical step in implementing President Biden’s Build Back Better vision.
Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss named John Horrigan the new Benton Senior Fellow. Horrigan has been a regular contributor to Benton’s Digital beat blog in recent years. He is a national expert on technology adoption, digital inclusion, and evaluating the outcomes and impacts of programs designed to promote communications technology adoption and use. He served at the Federal Communications Commission as a member of the leadership team for the development of the National Broadband Plan.