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Federal government announces new grants to expand internet access in rural areas

By February 28, 2022No Comments

Source:  The State

By Alex Roarty

Federal grants totaling more than $277 million are expected to lay the groundwork for broadband internet access in rural America, which will grow even more when billions of dollars in the infrastructure plan are released. Richard B. Levine TNS

WASHINGTON Federal officials on Friday announced nearly $300 million in new grant money meant to expand access to high-speed internet, part of a larger ongoing effort from the federal government to make broadband internet more widely available across the country.

The funds are earmarked for 13 states or territories, including Kentucky, Washington and Missouri, and are expected to give more than 130,000 households the ability to use faster internet service, according to a senior official with the Department of Commerce.

Expanding broadband Internet to areas without it has been a priority of President Joe Biden’s administration, which spearheaded passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure law last year that included tens of billions of dollars to increase access to the service.

“Today’s awards are another example of the Biden administration’s commitment to closing the digital divide and building strong partnerships with those who can help us expand internet access,” said Gina Raimondo, Commerce Department secretary, in a statement.

The money from these grants, however, comes from an appropriations bill approved by Congress in late 2020, according to Senior Commerce Department officials.

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