Digital Equity Funding

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced planning grants to Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina and Rhode Island in the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) and the Digital Equity Act programs.

The planning grants total $29,571,055.05. In some cases, the press releases provided specifics on what the BEAD and Digital Equity funding will provide. Some highlights:

Delaware: The BEAD planning grant will help broadband deployment planning and capacity building for the Department of Technology & Information. Digital Equity funding will help create a Delaware Digital Equity plan.

Georgia: The Digital Equity planning grant will drive engagement with the Georgia Digital Equity Taskforce.

Iowa: The BEAD planning grant will increase capacity of the state’s broadband office.

North Carolina: The BEAD planning funds will improve existing programs offered by the Department of Information Technology. The Digital Equity program will support subgrants to organizations that serve underserved or underrepresented populations.

Rhode Island: BEAD planning funds will include support for the Rhode Island Broadband Development Program, including a five-year action plan and enhancement of a previous statewide assessment of infrastructure and Internet service availability. It will reach more than 3,000 people to better understand barriers and challenges they face related to digital endeavors.

The BEAD program is funded at $42.5 billion and the The Digital Equity Act program has a budget of approximately $2.75 billion. They often are grouped together with other programs under the “Internet for All” umbrella.

A breakdown of funding awarded by state is as follows:

  • Delaware: $5,511,209.05:  ($4,995,113 for BEAD, $516,096.05 for Digital Equity).
  • Georgia: $6,429,207.61 ($4,999,994.65; $1,429,212.96).
  • Iowa: $5,708,924.00 ($5,000,000; $708,924.00).
  • North Carolina: $6,415,614.32  (5,000,000.00; $1,415,614.32)
  • Rhode Island: $5,506,100.07 ($5,000,000.00; $506,100.07).

The NTIA – which is part of the Department of Commerce – announced almost $5 million in planning grants for Idaho earlier this month. It included $4,376,087.09 for BEAD and $564,706 in Digital Equity funding.

All 56 eligible entities – all of the states and six territories – have applied for planning funds under the programs.

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