WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that American Samoa received planning grants for deploying high-speed Internet service networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative. American Samoa is receiving $1,394,300 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 territory.
“Whether it’s work, school, or healthcare – so many fundamental pieces of our lives are now online,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “That’s why President Biden has prioritized funding to connect everyone across the islands of American Samoa to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service as part of his Investing in America agenda. My thanks to Governor Lemanu for his dedication to delivering Internet for All.”
"Having access to quality and affordable Internet is important, but being able to leverage that access and resource is arguably even more important,” said Governor Lemanu Mauga. “This Digital Equity planning grant will help us refine our strategies to ensure our people have the skills and resources to fully participate in our global community and economy."
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. To date, NTIA has awarded more than $308 million in planning grants to states and territories.
About American Samoa’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.
American Samoa will receive $1,244,300.00 to fund various activities including:
- Increasing capacity of a broadband office that oversees broadband programs and broadband deployment in American Samoa;
- Supporting the development of a Five-Year Action Plan to close the broadband availability gap.
- Training for employees of the broadband program and related staffing capacity;
- Research and data collection to identify unserved and underserved locations as well as catalogue broadband adoption, affordability, equity, and access to better understand barriers to adoption’
- Providing technical assistance to potential subgrantees, including through workshops and events;
- 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.
American Samoa will receive $150,000 to fund various activities to support closing the digital equity gap including:
- The development of a Territory Digital Equity Plan that will benefit American Samoa and its principally unserved and underserved covered populations;
- Conducting data collection and analysis, digital inclusion asset mapping and stakeholder engagement;
- Staff recruitment and development.
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. In 2022, NTIA 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 GetInternet.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.