State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program

President Biden Wants to Send Billions to Rural America, but This Must Happen First

President Joe Biden regularly emphasizes how the major pieces of legislation he has signed — the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act — expand opportunities for Americans. This is especially true for rural Americans. Those three laws appropriated billions of dollars — about $464 billion — for many projects that could be particularly relevant to rural communities, allowing them to dream of a different economic future.

Is federal broadband funding going to states that need it most?

Digital connectivity is important for everyone to gain access to productivity and life-improving technologies. As we march into the era of generative artificial intelligence and the acceleration of fintech for businesses and personal banking, digital inclusion (DI) becomes an increasingly important topic for community development and economic inclusion.

Digital and Educational Equity: How States Plan to Partner with Educational Institutions

Digital equity cannot be fully realized without the participation of educational institutions, including K-12 public schools, community colleges, historically black and other minority serving colleges and universities, and extension programs. Many state digital equity plans embrace education and potential collaborations with educational institutions. All states acknowledge that digital equity is critical to education.

What Did NTIA's Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth Accomplish in 2023?

Congress included the ACCESS BROADBAND Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and established the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). On April 30, OICG released its annual report detailing the office's work for 2023. OICG administers broadband programs created by both the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Four interconnected core pillars drive OICG’s initiatives, strategy, and key accomplishments:

Achieving Digital Equity in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands' Next Generation Network (viNGN) released the draft U.S. Virgin Islands Digital Equity Plan (USVIDEP) for public comment. Being disconnected from a connected world is not new to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

All States Now Have NTIA-Approved Digital Equity Plans

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has now accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico.

Bridging the Gap: Can $90 Billion in Broadband Funding Close the Digital Divide?

To connect more Americans, Congress designated a slice of the $1.2 trillion 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act), as well as a portion of the $350 billion 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that passed to provide financial relief during the COVID pandemic, to fund projects that would cross this digital divide. All told, the bills provide around $90 billion in funding for connectivity spread across a plethora of initiatives. The question remains: Will this colossal sum be enough to bridge the digital divide?

New Mexico’s Digital Equity Plan Accepted

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has accepted New Mexico’s Digital Equity plan. Using $740,534.91 from the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, New Mexico created a plan aimed at addressing disparities in digital access, skills and affordability across the state. NTIA has accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico. On March 29th, 2024, NTIA launched the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program.

Illinois’ Digital Equity Plan Accepted

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has accepted Illinois’ Digital Equity plan. Using $1,515,352.64 from the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, Illinois created a plan aimed at addressing disparities in digital access, skills and affordability across the state. NTIA has accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico. On March 29th, 2024, NTIA launched the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program.

Mississippi’s Digital Equity Plan Accepted

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has accepted Mississippi’s Digital Equity plan. Using $875,585.61 from the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, Mississippi created a plan aimed at addressing disparities in digital access, skills and affordability across the state. NTIA has accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico. On March 29th, 2024, NTIA launched the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program.