WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Vermont received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Vermont is receiving $5,518,154.20 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 service throughout the state.
"Expanding affordable, high-speed Internet access across Vermont ensures that everyone has access to economic and educational opportunities, no matter where they reside," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I want to thank Governor Scott for his commitment to the Internet for All initiative."
“I commend the Biden Administration for working hard to get the infrastructure broadband funds out the door to communities in need,” said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. “These awards will be critical in helping increase Vermonters’ access to quality, high-speed broadband service throughout the state while closing the digital divide in Vermont.”
“Expanding access to high-speed broadband has been a top priority for my Administration, and we couldn’t do it without support from our federal partners,” said Vermont Gov. Phil Scott. “I want to thank NTIA for their continued partnership, and all those who worked hard to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made this grant possible. Vermont will put it to good use as we seek to connect all those in our state to the vital tools they need to success in the 21st Century economy.”
“Broadband access helps our students thrive, gives our businesses new ways to grow, and helps communities stay connected,” said Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL). “But too many Vermonters lack access to reliable broadband service. These planning grants are an essential first step to help every Vermonter access quality broadband service. I look forward to seeing these funds put to use across our state.”
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. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Vermont’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.
Vermont will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Supporting development of a comprehensive Five-Year Action Plan that will identify Vermont's broadband access, affordability, equity, and adoption needs;
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations;
- Asset mapping to catalogue broadband adoption, affordability, equity, access, and deployment activities.
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.
Vermont will receive $518,154.20 to fund various activities including:
- Helping close the digital equity gap and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Developing a comprehensive accounting of the accessibility of online public resources and services along with the level of literacy of the current and potential users of these services;
- Engaging community members and conducting resource asset mapping to build interactive public maps for planning and program implementation.
Internet for All
The 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 (ACP) 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 AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.