The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced how it is allocating Federal grant funding to improve high-speed internet access to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories – with Texas, California, and Missouri all leading the pack in terms of total grant funding awarded.
NTIA said the funding is intended to help localities deploy affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service to everyone in America. The agency added that the funding is part of the “Internet for All” initiative, which it called a “key component” of President Biden’s “Investing in America” agenda.
The localities will use funding from the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to administer grant programs within their borders. As part of the grant funding, Texas will receive roughly $3.3 billion, California will receive roughly $1.9 billion, and Missouri will get about $1.7 billion in funding.
“What this announcement means for people across the country is that if you don’t have access to quality, affordable high-speed Internet service now – you will, thanks to President Biden and his commitment to investing in America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Whether it’s connecting people to the digital economy, manufacturing fiber-optic cable in America, or creating good paying jobs building Internet infrastructure in the states, the investments we’re announcing will increase our competitiveness and spur economic growth across the country for years to come.”
According to NTIA, the BEAD funding will be used to deploy or upgrade broadband networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used to pursue eligible access-, adoption-, and equity-related uses.
“This is a watershed moment for millions of people across America who lack access to a high-speed Internet connection. Access to Internet service is necessary for work, education, healthcare, and more,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communication and Information Alan Davidson. “States can now plan their Internet access grant programs with confidence and engage with communities to ensure this money is spent where it is most needed.”
Rounding out the top 10 funding recipients are:
- Michigan receiving roughly $1.6 billion;
- North Carolina receiving roughly $1.5 billion;
- Virginia receiving roughly $1.5 billion;
- Alabama receiving roughly $1.4 billion;
- Louisiana receiving roughly $1.4 billion;
- Georgia receiving roughly $1.3 billion; and
- Washington receiving roughly $1.2 billion.