WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Virginia 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. Virginia is receiving $6,222,051.95 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.
"Affordable Internet service will ensure that all Virginians have the opportunity to take advantage of virtual economic and educational opportunities," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Internet connectivity is now essential for everyday life. I thank Governor Youngkin for his commitment to the Internet for All initiative."
“As we continue to compete in the 21st century, it is crucial that we close the digital divide in Virginia,” said Virginia Sen. Mark Warner. “I’m glad to see this funding, courtesy of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act I was proud to negotiate, go towards ensuring that every corner of the Commonwealth has access to affordable and reliable broadband.”
“High-speed Internet is essential to access health care, education, and economic opportunities. I’m so glad the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I voted to pass last year, is continuing to help expand internet access across the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. “This funding will help close the digital divide and provide Virginians with affordable, reliable, and high-speed connectivity no matter where they live.”
"We are committed to providing affordable, reliable, universal, high-speed internet access across the Commonwealth and this announcement helps further our efforts to bridge Virginia’s digital divide,” said Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. "Federal planning grant funding will allow us to ensure broadband access to every Virginia home, business and community anchor institution has a funded solution for broadband access by 2024.”
"Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we're going to make universal broadband a reality in Virginia," said Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10). "I'm pleased that funding from the first phase of these grants is now on its way to help develop plans for our Commonwealth to achieve universal and equitable broadband connection, particularly to the underserved rural homes and businesses in my district. I look forward to continuing to work closely with state and local leaders to ensure we can get the resources from this once-in-a-generation federal infrastructure investment where they're needed most in our community."
“I am proud to see that investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are rebuilding Virginia’s physical infrastructure and making a difference on the ground in our communities,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “All Virginians — and all Americans — deserve access to high-speed broadband Internet. The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) recognizes the need to make universal broadband a reality across our Commonwealth, and I am grateful for this federal support as we work to close 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 Virginia’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.
Virginia will receive $4,999,975.50 to fund various activities including:
- Supporting Virginia’s "Commonwealth Connect Plan," including the creation of a 5-year action plan identifying Virginia's broadband access, affordability, opportunity, and high-speed Internet adoption needs;
- Increasing capacity of the broadband office;
- Establishing a Virginia Digital Opportunity Initiative Planning Grant Program, meant to help address digital opportunity at the local and regional levels;
- Awarding funding to 128 local government units.
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.
Virginia will receive $1,222,076.45 to fund various activities including:
- Developing the Commonwealth’s Digital Opportunity Plan, including the hiring of a Digital Opportunity Coordinator;
- Engaging local and regional stakeholders to gather information, conduct broadband needs assessments, and formulate plans to address digital equity concerns at the regional level;
- Funding subawards for planning and mini-grant programs at the regional level for data collection, community engagement and other activities.
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.