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Biden-Harris Administration Approves Kentucky and Maine’s “Internet for All” Initial Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2024
News Media Contact
NTIA, Office of Public Affairs

Two States Requested Access to BEAD Funds Totaling Over $1.2 billion

WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has approved Kentucky and Maine’s Initial Proposals for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, a cornerstone of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative.  

This approval enables Kentucky and Maine to request access to funding and begin implementation of the BEAD program—a major step towards closing the digital divide and meeting the President’s goal of connecting everyone in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.  

Today’s action allows states to request:  

  • Kentucky: Over $1 billion
  • Maine: Over $271 million

“Through our Internet for All initiative, we’re ensuring everyone in America has access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet. In Kentucky, Maine, and across the country, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is creating economic opportunities and facilitating access to jobs, health care and education,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Congratulations to the teams in Kentucky and Maine for creating robust plans that will ensure everyone in their states is connected.”

The BEAD program is a $42.45 billion state grant program authorized by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The states, territories and Washington D.C. were allocated funding to deploy or upgrade high-speed Internet networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service.  

Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used on high-speed Internet adoption, training, and workforce development efforts, among other eligible uses.

“Today, Kentucky and Maine can move their Internet for All efforts from planning to action,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson. "I congratulate the Kentucky and Maine Broadband offices for developing a strong proposal for how they will connect all of their residents to high-speed Internet service.”

BEAD-eligible entities—the 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia—are required to submit for NTIA’s approval an Initial Proposal detailing how they plan to spend their BEAD allocation to deliver high-speed Internet access to all unserved and underserved locations within their borders. All states submitted their Initial Proposals by December 27, 2023.  

NTIA provides updates on the status of all 56 states and territories’ Initial Proposal here.

NTIA will continue to announce approval of Initial Proposals on a rolling basis.

One year from Initial Proposal approval, states must submit a Final Proposal that details, among other things, the outcome of the subgrantee selection process and how the state will ensure universal coverage.

Here’s what stakeholders are saying about the announcement:  

Kentucky

“High-speed Internet isn’t just the infrastructure of the future, it’s the infrastructure of right now. It’s something that everybody wants, and it needs to be both accessible and affordable,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “That’s why the BEAD program is transformational. It’s a chance for everybody to chase their dreams – whether that’s applying for a new job or applying to college, getting the health care they need to feel their best, or starting a business in a rural area, but knowing they can sell their product across the country, all because they have high-speed internet.”

Maine

“Reliable Internet access is a critical part of ensuring rural states like Maine can fully participate in our modern, globally-connected economy. With this approval, Maine can now put historic Federal funds to use to bring the internet to more people in Maine, unlocking new opportunities in commerce, education, telemedicine, and more,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I thank President Biden and the Maine Congressional Delegation for their hard work to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which made this historic investment possible. My Administration and the Maine Connectivity Authority will continue our aggressive work to make an internet connection available to every person in Maine who wants one.”

“I’m thrilled to see MaineConnectivity’s BEAD round 2 approval,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “This is an important step to closing the digital divide and getting critically needed broadband resources to the state. I was proud to help secure BEAD funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will continue to support efforts to ensure all Mainers have broadband access.”

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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.

For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.

 

About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration    

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.