WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Colorado 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. Colorado is receiving $5,897,116.45 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.
"Equitable access to broadband allows Coloradans to receive telehealth services, education, and job opportunities," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I thank Governor Polis for his commitment to expanding high-speed Internet access."
“Affordable, high-speed broadband is essential for modern American life, allowing people to telework, learn remotely, and access telemedicine,” said Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. “I worked to ensure that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included historic funding for broadband because millions of Americans still lack access – disproportionately from our rural areas, low-income neighborhoods, and communities of color. This initial $5 million investment will strengthen Colorado’s ability to plan for the broadband funding next year and maximize this once-in-a-generation opportunity for our state.”
“This exciting grant builds upon our work to connect over 99% of Coloradans to affordable, high-speed broadband in the next five years,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. “We are continuing to save people money on internet, making sure that no matter where you live, you have access to internet you can count on and we look forward to continued partnership with the federal government to achieve our bold goals.”
“Coloradans rely on internet access to work, connect with family, seek medical care, pursue education, and so much more, which is why we have worked hard to connect communities across Colorado with reliable high-speed internet. This transformative federal grant boosts our ability to make sure Coloradans can access affordable internet, and we thank the federal government for supporting this important work,” said Colorado Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera.
“I was proud to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help provide every Coloradan with high-speed internet,” said Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06). “Funding these critical programs will ensure everyone in our community has the skills and tools they need to participate in the 21st Century economy.”
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 Colorado’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.
Colorado will receive $4,999,997.43 to fund various activities including:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Capacity-building and employee training of the Colorado’s broadband office;
- Asset mapping across Colorado to catalog high-speed Internet service adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment;
- Creating a 5-year "Advance Colorado Broadband" plan;
- Cataloguing high-speed Internet service adoption and equity activities occurring within Colorado;
- Engagement with stakeholders to understand barriers to high-speed 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.
Colorado will receive $897,119.02 to fund various activities including:
- Creation of a Colorado Digital Equity plan;
- Staff recruitment; Efforts to engage with community members and stakeholders;
- Collection and analysis of data.
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.