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Biden’s $930 Million Grants Drive Nationwide Internet Access Expansion

by Ethan Kim
5 comments
internet access expansion

In a significant stride towards achieving universal internet access across the United States, the federal government unveiled a momentous plan on Friday. $930 million in grants were announced to bolster connectivity in remote areas of Alaska, rural regions in Texas, and numerous other locations still grappling with substantial gaps in internet access.

This undertaking is akin to the central infrastructure required to facilitate widespread internet connectivity, consisting of high-capacity fiber lines that transmit colossal amounts of data at remarkable speeds. Analogous to the way the interstate highway system connected communities, these networks act as the backbone, bridging the divide between larger networks and last-mile connections. They facilitate connections from tribal lands to underserved rural and remote areas, extending to essential institutions like hospitals, schools, libraries, and major businesses.

The grants have been allocated to a diverse array of entities, including state government agencies, tribal governments, telephone companies, and electric cooperatives. The objective is to stimulate the installation of 12,000 miles (19,300 kilometers) of new fiber across 35 states and Puerto Rico.

Among the grants, the largest amount, nearly $89 million, was awarded to an Alaska-based telecommunications company. Its aim is to construct a fiber network in a remote part of the state where an estimated 55% of the population currently lacks access to basic internet services.

This expansion is just one of several initiatives championed by President Joe Biden’s administration to extend high-speed internet connectivity to the entire nation.

“The Middle Mile program serves as a force multiplier in our quest to connect every American,” stated Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce. “These grants will lay the groundwork for networks that will ultimately connect every household in the country to affordable, dependable, high-speed internet services.”

The grants were set in motion by the $65 billion allocated by Congress for broadband as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden, a Democrat, in 2021. A majority of these funds, $42.5 billion, will be distributed to states through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is partly based on new federal maps identifying areas lacking connectivity.

The allotments for states from the BEAD program are expected to be announced at the end of this month. States will subsequently administer their own programs to identify recipients who will develop last-mile networks for unserved communities.

Upon receiving the funds, the recipients of the middle mile grants revealed on Friday will have up to five years to complete their projects. However, they may request a one-year extension under specific circumstances.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about internet access expansion

What is the purpose of the $930 million in grants announced by Biden?

The purpose of the $930 million in grants is to expand internet access to every home in the United States, particularly targeting remote areas and underserved communities that currently face significant gaps in connectivity.

Who will receive the grants?

The grants will be awarded to a variety of entities, including state government agencies, tribal governments, telephone companies, and electric cooperatives. These organizations will play a crucial role in implementing the infrastructure necessary to extend internet access to unserved areas.

How will the grants be used?

The grants will primarily support the laying of new fiber lines, spanning approximately 12,000 miles across 35 states and Puerto Rico. These high-capacity fiber networks will act as the backbone for transmitting large amounts of data at high speeds, connecting the larger networks to last-mile connections in remote and underserved regions.

How does this initiative contribute to nationwide internet access?

The expansion of internet access through these grants is part of a broader effort by President Biden’s administration to achieve universal high-speed internet connectivity across the country. The funds will help bridge the digital divide, ensuring that essential institutions such as hospitals, schools, libraries, and businesses, as well as residential homes, have affordable and reliable access to the internet.

How were the grants funded?

The grants were made possible by the $65 billion allocated by Congress for broadband as part of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden in 2021. The majority of these funds, $42.5 billion, will be distributed to states through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which identifies areas lacking connectivity and facilitates targeted investment.

What is the timeline for completing the projects?

Once the recipients of the grants receive the funds, they have up to five years to complete their projects. However, there is an option to request a one-year extension under certain conditions. This timeline allows for the necessary infrastructure development and implementation required to connect underserved communities to the internet.

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5 comments

GrammarNazi88 June 17, 2023 - 3:49 am

Some spelling errors and missing punctuation in this text. It’s important to maintain proper grammar and spelling to ensure clarity and professionalism.

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JaneDoe21 June 17, 2023 - 5:02 am

biden grantz r awesum! finally ppl in remot areas get internetz. woooohoooooo!!

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TechGeek42 June 17, 2023 - 4:15 pm

This is a great initiative by the Biden administration! Connecting underserved communities and remote areas to the internet is crucial for bridging the digital divide and promoting equal opportunities for all. Exciting times ahead!

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LazyWriter June 17, 2023 - 9:59 pm

w0w, 930 mil grants 4 intnet! hope it helps evry1 get online. ths s huge step 2ward bridging digital gap. go biden go!

Reply
InquisitiveMind June 18, 2023 - 12:00 am

I wonder how the grants will be allocated and if there are any criteria for the selection process. It would be interesting to see the impact of these investments on the communities that have been underserved in terms of internet access.

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