01/26/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/26/2023 14:34
Alabama, Kentucky, Nevada, and Texas are approved to receive approximately $793.7 million under the American Rescue Plan and will connect over 292,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet
Over one million locations will be connected as a result of Capital Projects Fund investments
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of broadband projects in four additional states under the American Rescue Plan's Capital Projects Fund in President Biden's American Rescue Plan: Alabama, Kentucky, Nevada, and Texas. Together, these states will use their funding to connect over 292,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. A key priority of the Capital Projects Fund program is to make funding available for reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure, advancing President Biden's goal of affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for all Americans.
The Capital Projects Fund (CPF) provides $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to the public health emergency. In addition to the $10 billion provided by the CPF, many governments are using a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) toward meeting the Biden-Harris Administration's goal of connecting every American household to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Together, these American Rescue Plan programs and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are working in tandem to close the digital divide - deploying high-speed internet to those without access and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it.
"The pandemic upended life as we knew it and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country, including rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities," said Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. "This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration's historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy."
In accordance with Treasury's guidance, each state's plan requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Affordable Connectivity Program helps ensure that households can afford the high-speed internet they need for work, school, healthcare, and more by providing a discount of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Experts estimate that nearly 40% of U.S. households are eligible for the program.
To further lower costs, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced the Administration had secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers-covering more than 80% of the U.S. population-to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30 per month. As a result of this agreement and the Affordable Connectivity Program, eligible households can receive internet access at no cost and can check their eligibility and sign up at GetInternet.gov. In addition to requiring funding recipients to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, Treasury's guidance requires recipients to consider whether the federally funded networks will be affordable to the target markets in their service areas and encourages them to require that a federally funded project offer at least one low-cost option at speeds that are sufficient for a household with multiple users.
Treasury began announcing state awards in June of last year. To date, 30 states have been approved to invest approximately $4.5 billion of CPF funding in affordable, reliable high-speed internet, which those states estimate will reach more than 1.2 million locations. Treasury will continue approving state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis.
The following descriptions summarize the four state's plans that Treasury approved today: