WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Texas 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. Texas is receiving $8,110,148.10 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.
"Connecting Texans to reliable, high-speed Internet services is imperative to ensure equitable access to telehealth, educational, and economic opportunities," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I commend Governor Abbott for his support of the Internet for All initiative."
“Thanks to President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Texas is slated to receive a $5 million grant for broadband access. This award will allow Texans across the length and breadth of the Lone Star State, especially those in rural and underserved communities, to have increased access to a reliable, affordable, and high-speed internet connection,” said Rep. Al Green (TX-09). “Additionally, Texas will be receiving a grant of approximately $3 million to promote digital inclusion and close the digital equity gap in our state. The outstanding announcement of these appropriations for stronger internet access is but the first step to improving care and services as well as enhancing academic and professional opportunities for a multitude of Texans.”
“High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to help Texans learn, find good-paying jobs, and connect with telemedicine and other vital services,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20). “I proudly voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to close the digital divide through programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program, BEAD, and the Digital Equity Program and I’m glad to see these investments on their way to our communities. As additional grant funding becomes available, we must continue working to make sure the underlying maps that determine allocations accurately reflect the current connectivity level and broadband needs of Texas families.”
“I’m thrilled about the Department of Commerce’s grant award of over $8 million for the state of Texas,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16). “In the 21st century, access to broadband is crucial for completing work, excelling in school, or operating a successful business. Lack of access to a stable and reliable internet connection only exacerbates existing income inequality and eliminates advancement opportunities, leaving many low-income families behind. Made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Americans are truly beginning to see the once-in-a-generation investment in our country’s infrastructure through BEAD and the Digital Equity Program. This funding is just the first step in developing digital and economic equity and I’m excited about its prospects for Texans.”
“Broadband infrastructure is essential infrastructure,” said Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07). “I am glad to have voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide this grant funding, and to help connect workers to jobs, students to schools, patients to health care providers, and people to one another as we work together to bridge the digital divide.”
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 Texas’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.
Texas will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Helping close the broadband availability gap and the development of a Five-Year Action Plan;
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations;
- 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.
Texas will receive $3,110,148.10 to fund various activities including:
- Helping close the digital equity gap and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Soliciting proposals through a competitive procurement process and issue contracts to support the development of the state digital equity plan;
- Working directly with organizations and nonprofits to reach the covered populations identified;
- Fostering partnerships by holding frequent subgrantee roundtables and other engagement activities;
- Establishing a digital equity planning coalition comprised of each subgrantee and potential other partners around the state.
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.