WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that South Carolina 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. South Carolina is receiving $5,953,478.05 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.
"I thank Governor McMaster for his efforts to bridge the digital divide in South Carolina," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Internet connectivity is an essential part of our daily lives, so it is essential to ensure that everyone has equitable access to these services."
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 South Carolina’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. South Carolina will receive $5 million to fund various activities including: Development of a comprehensive Five-Year Action Plan identifying South Carolina's broadband access, affordability, equity, and adoption needs; More precise assessment of the actual barriers residents are facing that impact their ability to access reliable broadband service; Verification of construction as grant funded projects come on-line; Consistent, professional messaging to better inform stakeholders that will contribute to a more collaborative, cohesive Five-Year Action Plan.
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. South Carolina will receive $953,478.05 to fund various activities including:
- The development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Staff recruitment and development;
- Community and stakeholder engagement.
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.