WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Michigan 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. Michigan is receiving $6,326,649.52 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.
"The people of Michigan deserve equitable access to education, economic opportunities, healthcare, and more,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Investments in broadband infrastructure will address disparities in access to high-speed Internet service. I commend Governor Whitmer for her prioritization of digital equity."
NTIA Senior Advisor for External Affairs Barbara Cottam announced the awards today alongside Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office at Wayne County Community College in Detroit, Michigan.
“With access to affordable, high-speed internet as our tool, we can connect Michiganders to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Today’s announcement will help us close digital equity gaps and pinpoint unconnected and underserved locations in Michigan, building on the investments we’ve made through the Connecting Michigan Communities grant program and the Building Michigan Together Plan. Governor Whitmer and I are grateful for our federal partners and we will continue working hard to connect every Michigander to affordable high-speed internet.”
“High-speed internet isn’t a luxury; it’s an essential service that we need for everything from work, school, doctor’s visits, and running a business. Many people in our state are still frustrated by slow and unreliable internet connections. This investment will help provide affordable, reliable internet access to residents throughout our state and address disparities in service,” said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
“Affordable, reliable internet access is essential to participate in today’s economy. I helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to close the digital divide for mid-Michigan families, students and small businesses. I am proud to see this law put into action, expanding broadband access across our state,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-05).
“The mission of the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office is to create a more digitally equitable state where every Michigander can leverage technology to improve their quality of life,” said Eric Frederick, Chief Connectivity Officer. “This award will allow our office to begin the critical planning efforts needed to implement future federal investments creatively, efficiently, and transparently. We can't achieve digital equity without listening to every community and every voice to better understand the needs and aspirations of our state, and we thank the NTIA for the opportunity to do so.”
"Expanding broadband access will help ensure better access to employment, education and telehealth for everyone in Michigan, and the tribal nations of this state have unique insights into the unserved and underserved populations when it comes to broadband infrastructure, as well as other needs," said Sault Tribe Chair Austin Lowes. "We appreciate this opportunity to partner with the state and federal government and look forward to continued collaboration in the future."
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 Michigan 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.
Michigan will receive $4,998,701.52 to fund various activities including:
- Developing Michigan’s “MI Connected Future” project, including a 5-year action plan to close the broadband availability gap;
- Identifying unserved and underserved locations;
- Building capacity of the state broadband office;
- Mapping assets across Michigan to catalog high-speed Internet service adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment;
- Surveying communities to better understand barriers to Internet service 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.
Michigan will receive $1,327,948 to fund various activities including:
- Development of a statewide digital equity plan to close the digital equity gap;
- Identification of barriers to digital equity and an assessment of needs;
- Development of an implementation strategy and establishment of partnerships.
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.