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Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $4.9 Million to Idaho in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
November 14, 2022

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Idaho received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Idaho is receiving $4,940,793.09 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet throughout the state.

"I thank Governor Brad Little for signing onto the Internet for All initiative," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Connecting Idaho's communities to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet will improve health outcomes, create jobs and increase educational access."

“The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board is proud to help support expanded broadband services to unserved and underserved households and rural communities across Idaho,” said Idaho Broadband Advisory Board Chairman Representative John Vander Woude. “This funding award is just the beginning, and the board looks forward to working with NTIA and funding projects to help advance connectivity in the areas of Idaho that need it most.”

“The Idaho Office of Broadband is excited to begin the process of working on the state’s 5-year action plan and mapping in preparation for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program and Digital Equity program,” said State Broadband Program Manager Ramón Hobdey-Sánchez.  “These initial planning funds provide Idaho and the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board the opportunity to begin working with broadband stakeholders and interested parties as soon as possible.”

All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis. 

About Idaho’s Planning Grants

Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program

The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.

Idaho will receive $4,376,087.09 to fund:

  • Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
  • Outreach to diverse stakeholders across all entities and geographies within the state;
  • Increase capacity to implement BEAD grants and build infrastructure throughout Idaho.
  • Build a broadband infrastructure map for the State of Idaho
  • Asset mapping across the Eligible Entity to catalog broadband adoption, affordability, access, and deployment activities;
  • Surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption;
  • Efforts to support local coordination including capacity building at the local and regional levels.

Digital Equity

The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.

Idaho will receive $564,706.00 to fund:

  • Development of a Statewide Digital Access Plan;
  • Community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Data collection and analysis of barriers to high-speed Internet adoption.

Internet for All

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.

Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.

For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet programs as well as quotes from the awardees, please visit InternetforAll.gov.

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