Fiber Broadband

Approximately $12 billion in broadband funding has been awarded or budgeted to date through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), according to a report released today from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to commemorate ARPA’s second anniversary.

The ARPA included two programs that awarded funding to states and municipalities that could be used for a variety of purposes, including broadband– the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) and the Capital Projects Fund (CPF).

SLFRF funding went to state, local, tribal and territorial governments. Approximately $7.3 billion of it to date has been budgeted to go toward broadband.

CPF money went to individual states and to tribal governments. To date, 34 states have said they will use approximately $5 billion of the funding for broadband to make broadband available to over 1.4 million underserved locations. That’s a hefty percentage of the total $10 billion available in the program, particularly considering that funding for 16 states has not yet been released.

An additional $38.5 billion in CPF funding has been awarded to tribal governments, but the report did not detail what portion of that funding will go toward broadband.

ARPA Broadband Projects

The report offered three examples of SLFRF broadband projects:

  • Alabama budgeted $51 million for a statewide middle-mile fiber network,
  • American Samoa budgeted $10 million for the development of remote work, distance learning and telehealth
  • Carroll County, MD, budgeted $15b million for broadband infrastructure.

The report provided three examples of CPF projects:

  • Louisiana was approved for $176 million for the state’s Granting Unserved Municipalities Broadband Opportunities (GUMBO) program.
  • Virginia got $219.8 million provide broadband access to an estimated 76,873 locations, approximately 28% of locations the state estimates lack access to high-quality broadband service
  • West Virginia was approved for $136.3 for projects receiving funding to serve 20,000 locations, or approximately 10% of locations in the state that lack access to high-speed internet.

The report includes a useful list of CPF funding for broadband to date by state and the number of locations associated with that funding.

Joan Engebretson contributed to this report

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