Over $7.7 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) money had been budgeted for broadband projects as of March 31, according to a new report from the U.S. Treasury, which is administering the program. The SLFRF program was created in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The fund has a total budget of $350 billion. State and local governments can use the funding for a range of infrastructure projects, including broadband, and some are directly a considerable portion of their funding for that purpose.
Since January, communities increased their SLFRF budgets for broadband projects by 3%, Treasury said. A previous Treasury report found that $7.3 billion in SLFRF funding had been budgeted for broadband projects.
States and the largest cities and counties have budgeted nearly 80% of their total SLFRF money, according to the newer report released last week.
The report cited several examples of state and local governments that are budgeting SLFRF money for broadband, including:
- Box Elder County, Utah will use $1.5 million in SLFRF money for last-mile infrastructure in underserved rural communities
- The City of Brownsville, Texas will use $20 million for internet connectivity
- The State of Iowa will use nearly $200 million from the SLFRF program, in combination with $149 million from the Capital Projects Fund, to upgrade broadband connections in over 50 counties
- New Kent County, Virginia will use nearly $4.5 billion in SLFRF money to provide access to high-speed broadband to every household in the county, including 3,000 currently unserved locations
- The State of West Virginia will use $90 million from the SLFRF program, in combination with $130 million in CPF money, for the West Virginia State Broadband Initiative.
The Capital Projects Fund is another ARPA broadband program.