Treasury announces $1B to expand internet access in Utah, 5 other states

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wait to speak about expanding high-speed Internet access at the White House in May. The Treasury Department Thursday said nearly $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan is going to six states to connect 180,00 homes and business to affordable broadband service. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

Dec. 1 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury Department Thursday announced nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan high-speed internet funding for Utah, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri.

“This funding will lay the foundation for the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet and reduce internet bills for American households and businesses,” Deputy Treasury Sec. Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

Adeyemo said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the “stark inequity” in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in rural, tribal and other underrepresented communities.

According to the Treasury Department this funding will be used to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable high-speed internet.

The Capital Projects Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories and tribal government to fund critical capital projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes funding for high-speed internet.

Each state’s plan under this funding requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s new Affordable Connectivity Plan. It provides high-speed internet discounts of up to $30 a month, $75 a month on tribal lands.

In addition, the Biden administration said it has secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed internet for no more than $30 a month.

Utah will connect 3,080 homes and businesses using $10 million in government funding.

For Florida, the newly announced funding will provide $248 million to connect 48,400 households. Georgia will get $250 million helping to connect an estimated 70,000 households.

Iowa will use $152.2 million to provide high-speed internet to 18,972 households and businesses. Minnesota gets $44 million that it will use to fund two broadband projects — Minnesota’s Line Extension Program and the Low-Density Pilot Program.

Missouri gets $196.7 million which it estimates will connect 37,979 households and businesses currently lacking high-speed internet access.


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