WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Oregon 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. Oregon is receiving $5,782,193.00 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 service throughout the state.
"The Internet is a means for the people of Oregon to access digital learning and economic opportunities," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I appreciate Governor Brown's efforts to achieve digital equity across Oregon."
“I’m gratified that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law I worked to pass recognized the Internet is an essential piece of modern infrastructure in Oregon and nationwide,” said Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. “Closing the digital divide so all Oregonians have equal opportunities to have access to the Internet for education, small business and more is a must, and these federal investments help achieve that vital goal throughout our state.”
“High-speed internet is a critical need in today’s connected world, especially in supporting continued economic development across Oregon,” said Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. “I am pleased these grants are heading to the Oregon Business Development Department. This funding will be crucial in improving broadband equity and access for all Oregonians and Oregon businesses.”
“In today’s increasingly digital world, access to broadband is no longer a luxury — it is an absolute necessity,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “Regardless of income level or zip code, the pandemic has demonstrated that children, workers, and small businesses must have access to high-speed internet to stay connected to the world. The funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment Program in particular, will help Oregon work to ensure there is equitable and reliable internet access across the entire state.”
“One thing that the Coronavirus pandemic taught the country is how critical it is to have affordable access to highspeed internet. I’m proud to have included funding for broadband in my Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which provided over $35 million in broadband grants for Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04). “This additional $5,782,193 in Planning Grants to help develop equitable highspeed internet across Oregon will provide crucial infrastructure to connect individuals with their loved ones and to lifesaving information and services. Thanks to these grants, Oregon will be better connected for generations to come.”
“Equitable broadband access is crucial to building 21st century livable communities” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), “Schools, businesses, and community organizations rely on high-speed internet access to bridge the digital divide. I am pleased that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes this funding, which will benefit all Oregonians.”
“Access to broadband is essential to nearly every aspect of our lives,” said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01). “Businesses need it to grow, students need it to learn, families need it to access health care, and much more. Broadband access is a matter of equity, and the pandemic exposed widening gaps. I’m grateful that Oregon will receive this significant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund digital equity projects that will strengthen our communities.”
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 Oregon’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.
Oregon will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Supporting development of a comprehensive, informed Five-Year Action Plan, Initial Proposal, and Final Proposal, maximizing the impact of BEAD funds to improve broadband access and resilience throughout Oregon's unserved and underserved communities;
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations;
- Conducting surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption;
- Publications, outreach, and communications support.
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.
Oregon will receive $782,193.00 to fund various activities including:
- Having the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD) onboard the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC), a diverse membership representing key broadband stakeholders and is tasked in statute as the planning and oversight body for Oregon's Digital Equity program;
- Help close the digital equity gap and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Hiring one full time Broadband Equity Specialist to manage the planning and engagement process.
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 service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.