WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Mississippi 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. Mississippi is receiving $5,875,585.61 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.
"These efforts are critical to close the digital divide and bring affordable, reliable high-speed Internet access to all in Mississippi," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I commend Governor Reeves for his commitment to increasing broadband Internet access across Mississippi."
“Careful planning is essential to ensuring that all of Mississippi’s households can get access to high-speed internet. This latest grant will help our state develop a roadmap to make the best use of future resources made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Senator Roger Wicker.
“As the only House Member in the Mississippi Delegation who voted for the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I take great pride in knowing that this award will provide access to those communities who have for too long went without affordable internet connectivity,” said Congressman Bennie Thompson.
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 Mississippi 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.
Mississippi will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Development of a 5-year action plan to close the broadband availability gap;
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Efforts to support local coordination including outreach across the state to stakeholders;
- Planning and capacity building of the state’s broadband office;
- Asset mapping across Mississippi to catalog high-speed Internet service adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment;
- Conducting surveys of communities to better understand barriers to Internet service adoption;
- Developing a precise assessment of the actual barriers state residents face that block them from Internet service adoption;
- Creating easily understandable written and digital material to engage with those who are unserved or underserved.
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.
Mississippi will receive $875,585.61 to fund various activities including:
- Development of a statewide digital equity plan to close the digital equity gap;
- Development of the digital skills and accessibility team;
- Engage with local community members and stakeholders;
- Award subgrants for conducting digital inclusion asset mapping.
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.