Combined with other Administration initiatives, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has brought affordable internet to over 16 million American households
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of high-speed internet projects in New York under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund, part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The state will use its funding to connect nearly 100,000 low-income housing units to affordable, high-speed internet. A key priority of the Capital Projects Fund program is making funding available for reliable, affordable high-speed broadband infrastructure, advancing President Biden’s goal of affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for everyone in America. Already, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has delivered affordable high-speed internet to 16 million American households, through the Capital Projects Fund and through the Affordable Connectivity Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, saving each household at least $30 per month and supporting one of the strongest and fastest economic recovery in history.
“The pandemic upended life as we knew it and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country, including rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities,” said Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy.”
“$100 Million in federal funding that I secured in the American Rescue Plan is now on its way to boost high quality internet access for over 100,000 families and homes across New York. Long before the pandemic, communities across New York, from rural communities to bustling city neighborhoods, have struggled to obtain affordable, high-speed internet service,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal dollars will go directly towards closing the digital divide, which means connecting communities to good-paying jobs, better healthcare, and higher-quality education in our schools. I am proud to deliver this major $100 million investment to provide more equitable broadband accessibility throughout the state and help New Yorkers thrive in today’s digital economy.”
“I am proud to announce $100 million in federal funding that will be used to deliver high-speed internet to thousands upon thousands of families across New York State,” said Senator Gillibrand. “During the pandemic, we saw how important high-quality broadband is for business, health care, school, and more. That’s why, when we wrote the American Rescue Plan, we included robust funding for broadband delivery, which can create new economic opportunities, raise property values and improve people’s life and health outcomes. I’m excited to work with the White House, Leader Schumer and Governor Hochul to get this project moving.”
“Affordable, reliable broadband access is essential to connect New Yorkers with work, education, and government services, but still out of reach for far too many families,” said Governor Hochul. “This critical funding to unlock high-speed internet for thousands of New York renters will build on the success of our ConnectALL broadband initiative while supporting the goals our five-year plan to build and preserve more affordable housing. Thanks to the Biden administration and New York’s Senate and Congressional delegations, New York will continue to lead the nation in bridging the digital divide and making broadband available to all.”
The Capital Projects Fund (CPF) provides $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to the public health emergency. In addition to the $10 billion provided by the CPF, many governments are using a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) toward meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of connecting every American household to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Together, these American Rescue Plan programs and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are working in tandem to close the digital divide – deploying high-speed internet to those without access and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it.
New York is approved to receive $100 million for high-speed internet infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect roughly 100,000 households and businesses to high-speed internet access. New York’s award will fund the state’s Affordable Housing Connectivity Program, a competitive grant program designed to fund high-speed, reliable broadband infrastructure to and within low-income housing buildings. CPF funds will be used to upgrade internet access in affordable housing units. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 29% of the state’s total allocation under the Capital Project Funds program. New York submitted plans for the remainder of their Capital Project Funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
In accordance with Treasury’s guidance, each state’s plan requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Affordable Connectivity Program, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, helps ensure that households can afford the high-speed internet by providing a discount of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Experts estimate that nearly 40% of U.S. households are eligible for the program.
To further lower costs, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced last year that the Administration had secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers—covering more than 80% of the U.S. population—to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30 per month. As a result of this agreement and the ACP, eligible households can receive internet access at no cost and can check their eligibility and sign up at GetInternet.gov.
Treasury began announcing state awards in June of last year. To date, 37 states have been approved to invest approximately $5.2 billion of Capital Project Funds in affordable, reliable high-speed internet, which those states estimate will reach more than 1.58 million locations. Treasury will continue approving state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis.