The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced another set of planning grants for its Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) and Digital Equity programs.
BEAD is a $42.45 billion program and Digital Equity is a $2.75 billion program. Both were passed into law in the $65 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). All 50 states and six territories have applied for planning grant funding. News of awards will be released on a rolling basis, according to the NTIA.
The most recent planning grants total $48,667,853.72. Of that total, $39,906,138.56 was made in the BEAD program and $8,761,715.16 in the Digital Equity program.
- Alabama: $5,981,081.12 ($5 million for BEAD, $981,081.12 for Digital Equity).
- Arizona: $6,116,110.78 ($5 million, $1,116,110.78).
- Maryland: $5,966,659.11 ($5 million, 966,659.11).
- Minnesota: $5,881,905.10 ($5 million, $881,905.10)
- Montana: $5,601,301.36 ($5 million, $601,301.36)
- New York: $7,178,646.00 ($5 million, $2,178,646.00)
- Tennessee: $5,989,952.62 ($4,906,138.56, $1,083,814.06)
- Wisconsin: $5,952,197.63 ($5 million, $952,197.63).
In general the BEAD planning grants will be used to do such things as:
- Identify unserved and underserved locations;
- Provide planning and capacity-building of the state’s broadband office;
- Conduct surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to high-speed Internet service adoption;
- Create a more holistic representation of the state’s barriers to broadband adoption.
The Digital Equity planning grants generally will do things such as:
- Create a state digital equity plan;
- Conduct outreach, meetings and listening sessions with stakeholders, organizations and representative of communities disconnected from high-speed Internet service;
- Analyze the impact of digital equity on the state’s outcomes for economic development, education, health, civic and social engagement, and delivery of essential services.
About half of the states have received planning grants. One of the first was Idaho. It was followed by Nebraska. Subsequently, Florida, Mississippi, Utah and South Dakota received funding. More recently, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina and Rhode Island were funded.
Updated: Shortly after the above news, NTIA also announced awards to Connecticut — $5 million in BEAD planning funds and $736,568.10 in Digital Equity planning funds and to Washington — $5 million in BEAD planning funds and $1.07 million in Digital Equity planning funds.