WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Ohio received its first planning grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Ohio is receiving $6,470,550.76 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet throughout the state.
“Closing the digital divide is necessary to help all Ohioans access affordable, reliable high-speed internet for their jobs, school, healthcare and so much more,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “I commend Governor DeWine and his team for making this a priority and delivering for the Buckeye state. This funding will be critical to provide the resources needed to get the job done.”
A bipartisan group of Ohio elected officials have offered their support for these grants. Visit NTIA.gov to read their statements.
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Ohio is the second state to receive both its BEAD and Digital Equity planning grant. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Ohio’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Ohio will receive $5 million to fund:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Efforts to support local coordination including outreach to diverse stakeholders across all entities and geographies within the state;
- Planning and capacity-building of the state's broadband office;
- Asset mapping across Ohio to catalog broadband adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment activities;
- Local engagement with unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Ohio will receive $1,470,550.76 to fund:
- Development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Hiring a Digital Equity and Inclusion Manager who will create and execute the state digital equity strategy;
- Create a plan that will benefit the state of Ohio including utilizing the previously established BroadbandOhio Alliance;
- Regional coalitions to coordinate community engagement activities and ensure the needs of underrepresented populations are identified;
- Pilot programs that engage with underserved populations.
Internet for All
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit getinternet.gov.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet programs as well as quotes from the awardees, please visit InternetforAll.gov.