American Rescue Plan Commits Billions to Broadband

CTC Technology and Energy report

resident Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law on March 11, 2021. Included in the $1.9 trillion package is significant funding that can be used to support expansion of broadband infrastructure and initiatives. We’ll provide updates and analysis in this space as we learn more. Based on our initial review of the new law, here are some of the key broadband-related funding provisions:
  • Economic Development Administration (Department of Commerce): $3 billion in additional funding to the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (PWEAA) program through September 2022
  • Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Department of the Treasury): $10 billion for “capital projects directly enabling work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency”; in addition to capital projects, eligible efforts include ancillary services (such as broadband mapping) to increase efficiencies of capital projects, and cost support efforts (such as subsidies)
  • Emergency Connectivity Fund (FCC): $7.2 billion for E-Rate support to reimburse schools and libraries for provision of eligible equipment and advanced telecommunications and information services during the pandemic, including for locations other than schools and libraries
  • Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund: $219.8 billion for investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
  • Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund: $130.2 billion for rural community development block grants (CDBG) ($45.6 billion), rural areas ($19.5 billion), and counties ($65.1 billion, population-based), including for investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
  • Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund: $500 million ($250 million per year for 2022 and 2023) for Tribal use only “for any governmental purpose other than a lobbying activity”
This entry was posted in Funding, Policy and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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