The Biden administration is about to release $45 billion to ensure that every resident has access to high-speed internet by the end of the decade.
Governors and other leaders were invited to start applications on Friday.
More than 30 million Americans don't have internet, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who is overseeing the distribution under the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration NTIA, said. In this day and age, without high-speed internet, you can't go to school, can't go to the doctor, can't do simple things. How many times in a day do you go online or Google something? The funding is part of the $65 billion for broadband in the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Biden signed into law last November.
In order to participate in the $45 billion Internet for All initiative, governors and other eligible entities must submit a letter of intent and a planning funds budget, which will unlock $5 million in planning funds.
The average payment would be closer to $800 million, with additional funding determinations based on the coverage maps from the Federal Communications Commission FCC.
The programs would build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide the necessary technology to Americans, according to the department.
The need for high-speed Internet is a little bit like what my grandfather talked about: needing a phone. It is pretty consequential. This need is only going to grow. Biden told reporters last week that the Internet is not a luxury anymore.