Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new guidebook for states and organizations to consider when deploying high-speed Internet service projects. The guide will help Public Housing Authorities, Multifamily Owners and Operators, and Tribes understand the mechanics of these two programs and the role they can play in ensuring that funds come to their neighborhoods – both urban and rural.
“Online participation is a necessary resource to thrive in today’s society,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are committed to making sure every home has access to high-speed internet, through initiatives like HUD’s ConnectHome and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program. We are so grateful to the NTIA for their support in developing this useful resource and we look forward to the continued partnership between our agencies.”
To address the urgent need to connect everyone in America to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet service, the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress have provided historic levels of funding for high-speed Internet service through the $65 billion Internet for All initiative.
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration oversees the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD) and the Digital Equity Act programs. BEAD will provide $42.45 billion to help connect unserved and underserved locations across the country, and the Digital Equity programs will provide another $2.75 billion to help communities around the country provide devices, digital skills training and other activities to help underserved communities fully participate in the digital world.
All 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have received planning funding under both of these programs. The State Broadband Offices (SBO) are currently developing Action Plans for each of these programs and will be submitting them to the NTIA in the coming months. SBOs are required to consult a wide range of organizations, including PHAs and other affordable housing entities that work with low-income Americans. Public Housing Authorities, tribes and Multifamily housing organizations should make sure to contact their SBOs.
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