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Federal government to give states $930M in grants to expand high-speed internet

The Biden administration on Friday announced it will give just over $930 million in grants to expand high-speed internet infrastructure across 35 states and Puerto Rico.

The effort, part of a program under the Department of Commerce, aims to give communities infrastructure to carry large amounts of data over long distances and increase capacity to local networks, according to the administration.

Officials say the infrastructure also boosts network resiliency, lowers the cost of bringing high-speed internet service to unconnected households and helps connect unserved regions.

Funding through the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program comes from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that Biden signed in November 2021.

The law provided $65 billion to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access and $1 billion on that funds the Middle Mile program.

The program was created to bring high-speed internet to unserved and underserved communities, military bases and Tribal lands. 

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is spearheading the effort, which officials say will reach 350 counties.

There were more than 260 applications for a Middle Mile grant, which were due last fall. NTIA will give out additional grants “on a rolling basis,” it announced.

The states getting the most out of the nearly $1 billion in grants announced Friday include Alaska with a nearly $89 million grant, California with a $73 million grant and Michigan with a more than $61 million grant.

Source: The Hill

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