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What They’re Saying: Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $800 Million in New Internet for All Funding to Increase Digital Inclusion Efforts

April 03, 2024

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced the availability of more than $800 million in funding to states, territories, and Native entities to empower individuals and communities with the tools, skills, and opportunities to benefit from meaningful access to high-speed Internet.

Here’s what government officials are saying about the announcement:

Mary Sattler Peltola, U.S. Representative (AK)“Internet access is a necessity of modern life. From booking flights, to checking the wind chill, to applying for jobs, Alaskans need access to online spaces to keep up. Yet, too many in our state are priced out of participation in the online economy, job market, and exchange of ideas—that’s why this initiative is so important.”
Robin Kelly, U.S. Representative (IL)“I represent a district that is urban, suburban, and rural – I know firsthand how important internet connection is whether you’re a student in Chicago, a farmer in Kankakee, or a doctor in Danville. Internet connectivity expands access to education opportunities, job opportunities, and resources like telemedicine. I am thrilled that the funding passed through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is continuing to work for the American people and provide the resources our communities need to thrive. The over $23 million invested in digital equity in Illinois will grow our economy, expand opportunities, and strengthen our communities.”
Andy Beshear, Governor (KY)“High-speed internet is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity for school, work, health care and more, and each one of our communities deserves access. This grant program will help us bring affordable and reliable internet service to all Kentuckians. It’s also going to help folks build the digital skills they need to pursue higher education and the jobs of the future that are coming to Kentucky right now.”
Angus King, U.S. Senator (ME)“High speed broadband is no longer a luxury, it’s essential to everyday American life. In the 21st century a reliable, affordable broadband connection ensures access to economic, educational and business opportunities, as well as the ability to stay connected with loved ones. This $5.7 million funding opportunity made possible by the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill to further expand broadband access, increase digital literacy, and close the digital divide is going to be a game changer for Maine people and communities across our state. I look forward to working closely with the Maine Connectivity Authority to ensure these funds are dispersed efficiently, to help all Maine people regardless of their background or where they live have the resources and connectivity to benefit from the digital economy.”
Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Senator (MD)“A key purpose of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is to bring every corner of Maryland and the country online – with a focus on the communities that have been historically overlooked. This funding will help do that by increasing affordable, reliable high-speed internet access, and also equipping Marylanders with the digital skills they need to fully harness that access.”
Maura T. Healey, Governor (MA)“We thank the Biden-Harris administration for launching this important effort to help us close the digital divide once and for all. Massachusetts is proud to partner with the White House to address the core challenges around affordability, device access, and digital training that far too often hold residents back from the jobs, health care resources and social connections they deserve. Our Internet for All program has already made key investments that are having a positive impact for Massachusetts communities, and we look forward to building on that progress with this new Capacity Grant Program award.”
Edward Markey, U.S. Senator (MA)“This $14 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will help ensure that Massachusetts residents have both access to affordable, high-speed internet, and the support needed to become engaged participants in today’s digital world. As our social, economic, and political lives increasingly take place online, digital equity must be a priority. I commend the Healey administration for its commitment to this goal, and I am grateful for NTIA’s work to deliver a just broadband future for everyone.”
Garlin Gilchrist II, Lt. Governor (MI)“Every Michigander deserves access to fast, affordable internet to help them benefit from and fully participate in civic and economic life online,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Governor Whitmer and I are fighting for just that; we are proud of the progress we have made and this $20 million investment under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Digital Equity Act will support our efforts through the Michigan High Speed Internet Office to further empower communities across Michigan, close digital equity gaps, and help more individuals, families, and communities ‘make it’ in Michigan.”
New Jersey
Phil Murphy, Governor (NJ)“I want to thank President Biden, Secretary Raimondo, Administrator Davidson, and our congressional delegation for providing transformative investments for our communities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. One of our foremost goals, post-COVID, is building resiliency, and that starts with equity. COVID laid bare the stark digital disparities that exist in certain communities, particularly for our students. Ensuring that every resident has access to the basic tools needed to start off on equal footing in today’s world will help set them up for better success in life.”
New York
Kathy Hochul, Governor (NY)“This federal funding brings us one step closer to closing New York’s digital divide. Building on our $1 billion ConnectALL initiative, the Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program will help give New Yorkers the tools they need to participate in a 21st century economy and I thank the Biden Administration and New York’s congressional delegation for their partnership on our broadband efforts.”
North Carolina
Nate Denny, Deputy Secretary of the N.C Department of Information Technology’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity (NC)“We are grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for their partnership in closing the digital divide through this dedicated digital equity funding,” said Nate Denny, deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity. “With it, we will continue to make progress in ensuring that all North Carolinians can afford a high-speed internet subscription and have the devices and skills necessary to participate in the digital economy.”
Tina Kotek, Governor (OR)“Access to quality internet is critical to a community’s local economy. The investments of the Biden-Harris Administration are driving towards a United States where everyone has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service. This allocation provides an exciting pathway to bolster Oregon’s efforts to ensure that our state can continue to address barriers to digital equity.”
U.S. Virgin Islands
Albert Bryan Jr., Governor (VI)"The Virgin Islands has made important strides in bringing technology to our islands. We are elated that $2.1 million will be allocated to the Virgin Islands. This funding will help our residents continue to harness the best that Digital Equity Capacity has to offer.”
Patty Murray, U.S. Senator (WA)“Access to the internet is downright essential in the 21st century and while we are making huge strides and investments in getting more people connected to high-speed internet, I wrote the Digital Equity Act because once we connect a community to high-speed internet—we need to make sure they can really make the most of that connection. Today’s announcement will be a gamechanger as we work to close the digital divide in Washington state and across the country. This funding will allow all 50 states to implement the digital equity plans they’ve spent the last year developing—this is another big step toward ensuring that people and communities everywhere can participate in and benefit from an increasingly digital world. Whether it’s helping people access health care online, applying for jobs, or learning new skills—the Digital Equity Act is an investment in our families, our workforce, and our overall competitiveness in a 21st century economy.”