Biden admin awards more than $5.5M to Alaska in 'Internet for All' grants
WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Alaska received its first "Internet for All" grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration's Internet for All initiative. Alaska is receiving $5,567,800.00 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Alaska's Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Alaska will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Planning and capacity-building of the Alaska Office of Broadband;
- Creation of a comprehensive "Connect North!" Five-Year Action Plan;
- Development of Climate Threat Assessment;
- Improving quality of service and lowering the cost of high-speed Internet service, while allowing Native Alaskans to maintain a traditional cultural lifestyle and the ability to fully participate in the global economy;
- Research to understand barriers to high-speed Internet service adoption.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA's execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Alaska will receive $567,800.00 to fund various activities including:
- Development of a statewide digital equity plan;
- Providing resources to the Digital Equity working group;
- Community engagement with regional stakeholders;
- Conducting listening sessions via the Alaska Federation of Natives, other native entities, and the Alaska Municipal League.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
Read the full press release here.