Federal Program Funds Broadband in Underserved Areas

The program supports efforts to improve internet connectivity in remote and rural areas.

1 minute read

June 27, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Close-up of spool of broadband internet wire sitting on the ground

Markus / Adobe Stock

The Biden administration released details on how funds for broadband infrastructure will be distributed to states under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, reports Brian Fung for CNN. “More than $42 billion from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law will be distributed to US states and territories for building internet access, the White House said — with Texas eligible for the largest award of more than $3.3 billion, followed by California, which could receive more than $1.8 billion.”

The funding, which includes all U.S. states and territories, is aimed at bridging the ‘digital divide’ that persists in much of rural America, where high-speed internet access remains expensive and often inaccessible.

Maps created by the Federal Communications (FCC) indicate that “7% of US households and businesses, representing 8.5 million physical locations and tens of millions of individual Americans, do not have broadband internet access, which is defined as internet download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second.”

The program “complements another $23 billion across five separate broadband access programs included in the legislation, such as a program specifically aimed at Tribal connectivity and another for low-income households,” as well as a $25 billion broadband investment from the American Rescue Plan.

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