Biden Admin Provides $317 Million to Utah to Expand Broadband Access
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced how it has allocated $42.45 Billion in funding to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories to deploy affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service to everyone in America. Utah's portion of the funding is $317.4 million.
“Put simply, high-speed Internet is a necessity in today’s society,” said Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator. “Just like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act made a historic investment in rural areas bringing electricity to nearly every home in America, President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to leaving no community behind as we connect everyone in America to high-speed Internet.”
“This is a watershed moment for millions of people across America who lack access to a high-speed Internet connection. Access to Internet service is necessary for work, education, healthcare, and more,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communication and Information Alan Davidson. “States can now plan their Internet access grant programs with confidence and engage with communities to ensure this money is spent where it is most needed.”
The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funding will be used to deploy or upgrade broadband networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used to pursue eligible access-, adoption-, and equity-related uses. This funding is on top of more than $2.2 Million allocated through a USDA Rural Development investment bring a fiber-to-the-premises network to provide high-speed internet to rural Iron & Washington Counties.
Farmers and ranchers rely on broadband access to manage and operate successful businesses, the same as small businesses do in urban and suburban America. Access to broadband is essential for farmers and ranchers to follow commodity markets, communicate with their customers, gain access to new markets around the world and, increasingly, for regulatory compliance. However, 18 percent of U.S. farms have no access to the Internet according the USDA report, “Farm Computer Usage and Ownership, 2021.”
The Federal Communications Commission reports that approximately 19 million Americans (6% of the population) lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. Approximately one-fourth of the population (14.5 million people) lacks access in rural area. Tribal areas lack access to nearly one third of their population.
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