All States, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia Submit Planning Grant Applications for $42.45 Billion BEAD Program
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that all states and territories have submitted applications for initial planning funds as part of the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative.
The BEAD Program enables states and territories to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs. In total, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.
“The Internet for All Initiative will provide states and territories the resources they need for thorough planning, which is essential to ensure funding is used equitably, efficiently, and effectively,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. “I want to thank every state and territory for meeting our deadline so that we can close the digital divide as quickly and completely as possible.”
Initial planning fund applications for the BEAD program were due by August 15, 2022. NTIA will evaluate the applications and make awards available as expeditiously as possible. Within 270 days of the receipt of planning funds, states and territories are required to submit a Five-Year Action Plan, which will help establish goals and priorities for high-speed internet service and serve as a comprehensive needs assessment.
Planning funds can be used for a number of activities, including:
- Research and data collection;
- Publications, outreach, and communications support;
- Providing technical assistance to potential subgrantees;
- Training for employees of a broadband program;
- Establishing, operating, or increasing capacity of a broadband office;
- Mapping to catalogue broadband adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment activities;
- Conducting surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption; and,
- Promoting the Affordable Connectivity Program to help connect Americans immediately.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed internet programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.