WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Kentucky 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. Kentucky is receiving $5,874,236.13 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.
“High-speed Internet service is crucial for future job creation, educational opportunities, healthcare accessibility, and economic endeavors," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I commend Governor Beshear and his team for their efforts to expand high-speed Internet access. They have displayed a great dedication to closing Kentucky's digital divide through their existing Better Kentucky Plan and their proposed Better Internet for Kentucky Plan.”
“Expanding access to reliable, high-speed internet will improve the lives of Kentuckians and support our future economic growth,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “This summer, I announced more than $89.6 million in grants to expand high-speed internet access to more than 34,000 Kentucky families and businesses. And applications are now being accepted for a second round of more than $206 million in broadband grants that will help create an essential lifeline to healthcare, work, school, family, friends, customers and communities for even more Kentuckians. I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for this ‘Internet for All’ grant, which, when coupled with our already historic investments in broadband infrastructure, will bring transformational change to the commonwealth to benefit Kentuckians for generations to come.”
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 Kentucky’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. Kentucky will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Increasing capacity of Kentucky's broadband office;
- Broadband-related asset mapping to identify existing activities that support the project’s goal and identification of resources and the gaps in access, affordability, and adoption that the grant funds are intended to address;
- Collaboration with Kentucky's State Digital Equity Plan;
- 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. Kentucky will receive $874,236.13 to fund various activities including:
- Conducting community and stakeholder engagement on digital equity;
- Awarding subgrants for engaging with regions of the state and taking community-based actions;
- Development of a statewide digital equity plan that focuses on the communities and populations disproportionally harmed by digital inequity while stimulating workforce development.
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.