President Joe Biden is getting closer to distributing more than $40 billion in funding to support broadband expansion nationwide as part of his administration’s goal to connect all Americans to high-speed internet by 2030.
The funding, authorized in Biden’s 2021 bipartisan infrastructure package, will be distributed proportionally to states based on need with each state receiving at least $100 million. Monday’s allocations were made using broadband coverage maps that were recently updated to include more than one million new locations.
“Just like Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered electricity to every home in America through his Rural Electrification Act, the announcement is part of President Biden’s broader effort to deliver investments, jobs, and opportunities directly to working and middle-class families across the country,” a White House official said in a statement Monday.
States will be expected to submit their plans for using the funding by December. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), housed in the Commerce Department, plans to approve these plans before next spring when it will begin allocating 20 percent of a state’s authorized funding and infrastructure deployment can begin. By the end of 2025, at least 80 percent of the funding will be allocated.
The White House is expected to release the amounts each state received by Monday afternoon.
Earlier this month, NTIA announced $930 million for 35 “middle-mile” broadband construction projects that connect large fiber networks to smaller, local networks that can already reach homes and businesses across the country.
The Biden administration is expected to invest more than $90 billion to expand equitable and affordable internet access nationwide. As part of the American Rescue Plan, more than $25 billion has been authorized to build out broadband infrastructure and subsidize the cost of connected devices for low-income people.
“The Middle Mile program is a force multiplier in our efforts to connect everyone in America,” NTIA administration Alan Davidson said in a statement earlier this month. “Middle Mile infrastructure brings capacity to our local networks and lowers the cost for deploying future local networks.”