MRBC  Update: Congress Passes Infrastructure Bill, Broadband Funding

An update from the MN Rural Broadband Coalition

Congress Passes Historic Infrastructure Bill, $60 billion for Broadband

Many of you will have already read or heard the good news that on Friday, November 5, the U.S. House the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 228-206, with six Democrats voting against and 13 Republicans in favor. The bill contains $60 billion for broadband expansion, including $42 billion in grants to states. Since it had already passed the U.S. Senate, it is now headed to the President’s desk for his signature. It’s the biggest investment in infrastructure in the U.S. in many years.

Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve learned is in the bill related to broadband:

  • $60 billion total for broadband
  • $42 billion for grants to states
  • Minimum of $110 million to each state in direct grants. Final $$ based on how many served/unserved households in the state.
    • Less than 25/3=unserved; less than 100/20 underserved. Identical to MN statutes.
    • States must apply for funds.
    • Funds will be routed through Department of Commerce
  • $14.2 billion for Emergency Broadband Benefit extension
  • $2.75 billion for digital equity and adoption grants
  • $2 billion for USDA Reconnect program
  • $2 billion for grants to tribal areas

The Coalition is very excited to see this once-in-a-lifetime investment finally get across the finish line in Washington. It will take time for the Department of Commerce and the Treasury to flesh out the full guidelines of the grants to states, but we will keep you updated as we learn more in the coming weeks and months.

This entry was posted in Funding, Policy 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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