Home News Biden Administration’s $42 Billion Broadband Initiative is Now in Motion

Biden Administration’s $42 Billion Broadband Initiative is Now in Motion

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Biden's Broadband Initiative

President Joe Biden has today detailed the allocation of $42 billion intended for the improvement of broadband internet access across the United States. This fund, which has been made available via the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, targets complete access to high-speed internet for every American citizen by the end of the decade.

Texas has been allocated the lion’s share of the funding, receiving $3.3 billion. Meanwhile, eighteen additional states, including Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, will be granted over $1 billion each. The minimum grant any state will receive is $107 million. The plan also considers several U.S. territories, assigning $27 million for the U.S. Virgin Islands and a significant $334 million for Puerto Rico.

A White House statement reads, “With these allocations and other investments from the Biden administration, every state, including DC and the territories, now possesses the resources necessary to ensure reliable, affordable high-speed internet access for every resident and small business by 2030.”

Last year, the White House rolled out an initiative under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, promising at least $100 million for each state. However, the remainder of the funding remained pending until the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) compiled a detailed map to identify which residences and businesses were bereft of high-speed internet. Funding distribution will follow this map.

Despite unveiling a first draft of the map in November, incorporating intricate data, both Democratic and Republican politicians voiced concerns that it excluded millions of residences and businesses. The politicians urged the White House to hold off the broadband initiative until these issues were addressed.

After considering public and state feedback, the FCC revealed an updated version in May. As reported by The Washington Post, this new map rectified around 4 million errors, thus identifying approximately half a million additional homes, businesses, and other locations lacking any internet access. In total, the FCC discovered that over 8.3 million homes and businesses are without high-speed internet.

The initial focus of the states will be to provide broadband to areas with zero access. Any remaining funds can then be utilized to enhance internet access for areas with sluggish speeds.

The distribution of all the funds might span up to two years. States, Washington DC, and other territories are required to submit their initial grant program proposals by the end of the current year. Once approved by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, states will be eligible to request at least 20 percent of their allocation. However, access to the full allocation may not be granted until the plans are finalized, possibly by 2025, as reported by Reuters.

Most of the broadband-deficient locations are in rural areas. Typically, large providers have refrained from introducing broadband in these regions due to the smaller population and the substantial cost of setting up the necessary infrastructure.

Update 6/26 12:06PM ET: Additional information regarding the funding has been included.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden’s Broadband Initiative

What is the purpose of the Biden Administration’s $42 billion broadband program?

The program is designed to improve broadband internet access across the United States. The aim is to provide all Americans with access to high-speed internet by the year 2030.

Which state is receiving the largest portion of the funding from the broadband program?

Texas is receiving the largest portion of the funding with an allocation of $3.3 billion.

How were concerns regarding the initial coverage map from the FCC addressed?

After receiving feedback from public and state representatives, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an updated map in May. This updated version corrected about 4 million errors and identified approximately half a million more locations lacking internet access.

When can states start accessing their allocated funds for the broadband initiative?

States can start accessing at least 20% of their allocation once their initial plans are approved by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. However, access to full funding may not happen until the plans are finalized, potentially by 2025.

Why have major providers refrained from introducing broadband in rural areas?

Major providers have generally avoided setting up broadband in rural areas due to the small populations in these areas and the significant cost associated with installing the necessary infrastructure.

More about Biden’s Broadband Initiative

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CaliGirl2023 June 27, 2023 - 3:15 pm

$3.3 billion for Texas? Really? California has way more people, just doesn’t make sense to me…

SmartCitySlicker June 27, 2023 - 5:18 pm

good to see broadband getting attention, but how bout we also focus on other infra issues too huh?

FederalFred June 28, 2023 - 2:02 am

Big task ahead for the states, hope they can deliver this effectively and on time, fingers crossed.

FactCheckFred June 28, 2023 - 5:29 am

Does anyone have a link to the updated FCC map? want to check out the changes they made. thx in advance.

DigitalDivideFighter June 28, 2023 - 9:33 am

This is a massive step in the right direction! I hope the FCC and states can work together to quickly resolve any remaining issues.

CountryCoder June 28, 2023 - 10:14 am

As a rural resident, I’m excited bout this. Major companies’ve ignored us for too long due to ‘cost’. Its our turn now.

JakeTheGreat June 28, 2023 - 2:18 pm

finally, some progress!! been waitin forever for decent net speeds in my area. Lets get this show on the road!!


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