States Getting Billions to Give Everyone Internet

White House unveils major initiative to fully connect the US by 2030
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2023 8:51 AM CDT
Push to Bring Internet to the Rural US Is On
   (Getty / 12521104)

They are the outliers in a modern age, and not by choice: More than 8 million homes and businesses in the US do not have broadband service that meets bare-minimum standards, reports Engadget. But a major push to remedy that was unveiled at the White House on Monday—a $42 billion initiative to bring high-speed internet to pretty much anyone who wants it, even if they live in far-flung rural locales deemed unprofitable by major providers. Some highlights:

  • Money: Every state will get at least $107 million, and 18 will get more than $1 billion, including Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia. Those getting the most are Texas ($3.3 billion) and California ($1.8 billion). CNN has the complete list. Territories also get money, starting with the Virgin Islands at $27 million.

  • Examples: The Washington Post has a graphic listing the number of people "unserved" by the internet in various states, starting with Texas at 779,000. Other examples include North Carolina (376,000), Michigan (368,000), Virginia (364,000), Missouri (337,000), and California (306,000).
  • Now what? States will start submitting their plans to deliver internet later this year and unlock 20% of their allotment, per Reuters. The full amount likely won't be released until plans are finalized in 2025. The White House goal is to have everyone in the US connected by 2030 under what's known as the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.
  • The pitch: "It's the biggest investment in high-speed internet ever," said President Biden on Monday. "Because for today's economy to work for everyone, internet access is just as important as electricity, or water, or other basic services." The money is part of the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.
(Read more broadband Internet stories.)

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