Access to the Internet plays a critical role, serving as a catalyst for work, education, essential services, and more as part of routines in everyday life. But, even today, for many Americans, access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet is still out of reach.
The federal government operates a number of programs to make funding available to States, local leaders, and other eligible recipients who are engaged in high-speed internet-related activities for their communities.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been working to expand access and increase connectivity across the U.S. through the Internet for All effort by increasing awareness of federal funding available for closing the digital divide.
As part of that mission, NTIA released an update to the Federal Funding site, which serves as a comprehensive, “one-stop shop” of resources for potential applicants seeking federal broadband funding.
The site includes broadband funding opportunities and information on more than 80 federal programs across 14 federal agencies. Programs include funding opportunities for high-speed internet-related activities such as planning, infrastructure deployment, and digital inclusion.
Program types include direct grants, loans, indirect support, and discounts for industry, state, local, and Tribal governments, schools, libraries, and other community institutions that are interested in expanding and improving broadband access. Visitors to the website can search for programs by agency, program purpose, and eligible recipients. In response to user feedback, the site contains information on a number of new program fields, including:
- Matching Requirement
- Complementary Federal Funding Option
- Speed/Technical Requirement for Broadband Infrastructure
- Criteria for Eligible Recipients
- Grant Beneficiaries
Additionally, the high-speed internet-related Program Purpose field was narrowed down to three options to reflect the broadband program purposes included in NTIA’s ACCESS BROADBAND Report.
Notably, the site features many new programs, including those that were funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law including the Department of Commerce’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD), Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure, and Digital Equity Act programs.
Visitors to the site can still search for information using several resources including a searchable database, downloadable spreadsheet, a PDF guide, and an Interactive Guide to make it easier for visitors to more quickly find resources that meet their needs.
The launch of this latest round of federal broadband funding updates will help ensure that the public has easy access to the most up-to-date information possible to best facilitate deployment, access and further economic and workforce development.