WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Maryland 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. Maryland is receiving $5,966,659.11 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.
"We are leaving no Marylander behind when it comes to affordable, reliable Internet service. These Internet for All grants provide the ability to achieve educational success, receive medical care, and access greater job opportunities online," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I thank Governor Hogan and his team for efforts to make high-speed Internet access available to all."
NTIA Senior Advisor for External Affairs Barbara Cottam announced the awards today alongside Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband at CityView at McCulloh apartments in Baltimore, Maryland. “Governor Larry Hogan and I have worked during our administration to ensure that geography, income, and education don’t limit access to high-speed Internet in Maryland,” said Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford. “Through our transformative Connect Maryland initiative, an estimated 95% of all Marylanders have broadband access, and this federal funding will help build on our efforts to provide universal broadband to every resident, regardless of zip code.”
“Just as bringing electricity to every corner of the country was a national priority in the 20th century, providing universal access to high-speed Internet is a priority in the 21st century. That’s why I’ve fought for major federal investments in broadband deployment, and I’m glad to see Maryland putting these resources to use to make sure no one is left out as we continue working to bring our entire state online. With these critical federal funds, we will take an important step towards ensuring every Marylander has access to high-speed, affordable internet,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, which oversees funding for the NTIA.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which President Biden and Congress enacted last year, has already delivered record funding to rebuild the infrastructure and systems that connect our communities,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03). “To help all Marylanders connect with resources and each other, this law works to promote internet affordability and close the digital divide. I’m pleased the announcement of these Internet for All grants gives Maryland the resources to promote digital equity and inclusion 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 Maryland’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.
Maryland will receive $5 million to fund:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Outreach to diverse stakeholders across all entities and geographies within the state;
- Increased capacity of the state's broadband office;
- Asset mapping to catalog broadband adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment activities;
- Surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption;
- Efforts to support local coordination including capacity building at the local and regional levels.
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.
Maryland will receive $966,659.11 to fund:
- Development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Hire and employ staff to focus on Digital Equity initiatives;
- Creation of a planning team for Community Outreach and Engagement;
- Host three digital equity conferences to seek input from local jurisdictions and stakeholders;
- Partner with local jurisdictions, anchor institutions, nonprofits, and community organizations;
- Identify, review, and compile local digital equity plans, results, and data into the state's plan.
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.