December 1 (UPI) – The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced nearly $1 billion in fast-track Internet funding from the American Rescue Plan for Utah, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri.
“This funding builds the foundation for historic investments by the Biden-Harris administration to increase access to high-speed Internet and lower Internet bills for American households and businesses,” Deputy Secretary Sec. Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.
Adeyemo said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed “significant inequities” in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in rural, tribal and other underrepresented communities.
According to the Ministry of Finance, this funding will connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable high-speed Internet.
The Capital Projects Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories, and tribal governments to finance critical capital projects. The bipartisan infrastructure bill also includes funding for high-speed internet.
Each state’s plan under this funding requires providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s new Affordable Connection Plan. It offers discounts on high-speed internet as low as $30 per month and $75 per month on tribal lands.
In addition, the Biden administration announced that it had obtained a commitment from 20 leading Internet service providers to provide all ACP-eligible households with high-speed Internet access for no more than $30 per month.
Utah is connecting 3,080 homes and businesses using $10 million in state funding.
Recently announced funding for Florida provides $248 million to connect 48,400 households. Georgia will receive $250 million to connect an estimated 70,000 households.
Iowa is spending $152.2 million to provide high-speed Internet to 18,972 homes and businesses. Minnesota will receive $44 million, which it will use to fund two broadband projects – the Minnesota Line Expansion Program and the Low-Density Pilot Program.
Missouri will receive $196.7 million, which it estimates will connect 37,979 households and businesses that do not currently have high-speed Internet access.