The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has now accepted digital equity plans from all 50 States, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The latest plans to be accepted were from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico and Utah.

The Digital Equity Act, part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), made $2.75 billion available to promote digital equity and inclusion, with the intention of ensuring that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy.  

NTIA launched the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program on March 29. Under the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), states and territories can apply for funding from the program to begin implementation of their accepted digital equity plans.

In the next few months, NTIA will launch the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program, which will make funds available to a variety of entities, including (for example) some political subdivisions of states, native entities, nonprofits, community anchor institutions, local educational agencies, workforce development organizations, as well as territories. As NTIA Digital Equity Director Angela Thi Bennett explained in an interview with Telecompetitor last year, the competitive grant program will be administered by NTIA and is designed to “fill in gaps” left from the state grant program.

Additional information about the states getting digital equity plans approved can be found in this blog post.

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