National internet: Biden administration to release $45 billion for broadband service

National internet: Biden administration to release $45 billion for broadband service

The Biden administration is taking the first steps to release $45 billion to ensure every resident has access to high-speed internet by the end of the decade.

Governors and other leaders were asked to launch nominations on Friday.

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“[There are] more than 30 million Americans who don’t have the internet,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who oversees distribution under the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). high speed internet, you can’t go to school, you can’t go to the doctor, you can’t do simple things. Think about how many times a day you search for something on Google or go online.”

The funding is part of the $65 billion for broadband in the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Biden signed into law last November.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, November 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh/AP Newsroom)

The department’s money for broadband comes from three programs: the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program; the $1 billion Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Enablement Program; and the State Digital Equity Act programs which total $1.5 billion.

To participate in the $45 billion Internet for All initiative, governors and other eligible entities must submit a letter of intent and planning fund budget, which will unlock $5 million in planning funds.

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Each participating state is guaranteed a minimum allocation of $100 million, with additional funding determinations based on upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) coverage maps.

Rough Commerce Department estimates put the average payout closer to $800 million.

The department said the programs would build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills and provide needed technology for Americans.

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“You know, the need for high-speed internet is – is kind of like what my grandfather was probably talking about: needing a phone. It’s pretty big. And, it’s only going to grow, that need. High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Biden told reporters last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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