The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of broadband projects to an additional six states under the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) Capital Projects Fund (CPF), which makes funding available for reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure.
The states – Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Utah – will use their funding to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.
- Florida will receive $248 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 48,400 households and businesses, representing approximately 10 percent of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.
- Georgia will receive $250 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 70,000 households and businesses representing 15 percent of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.
- Iowa will receive $152.2 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 18,972 households and businesses and represents approximately 16 percent of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.
- Minnesota will receive $44 million to fund two additional broadband infrastructure programs. Minnesota’s Line Extension Program is a competitive grant program designed to address the needs of individuals near infrastructure for high-quality broadband service but where the cost of the last mile connection is a barrier. And the Low-Density Pilot Program is a competitive grant program that provides financial resources for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure in low-density areas of the state that currently lack high-speed internet.
- Missouri will receive $196.7 million for broadband infrastructure, connecting nearly 37,979 households and businesses, and approximately eight percent of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.
- Utah will receive $10 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 3,080 households and businesses representing approximately five percent of locations still lacking high-speed internet access.
The Treasury Department previously approved awards for states in June, July, and August of early October and late October. The agency plans to continue providing state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis. To date, 22 states have received nearly $3 billion of CPF funding to increase affordable and reliable high-speed internet, which those states estimate will reach more than 700,000 locations.
“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 in rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities,” Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a press release. “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.”
In addition, per Treasury Department guidance, each state’s plan must require service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program – which helps ensure that households can afford high-speed internet.
The Treasury also requires recipients to consider whether federally funded networks will be affordable to the target markets in their service areas. The department also encourages states to require that a federally funded project offer at least one low-cost option at speeds efficient for multiple-user households.