A major stride has been made in the federal government's initiative to improve internet access for every household in the United States, thanks to the recent announcement of $930 million in grants.
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Friday that these grants are aimed at bolstering connectivity in numerous areas where substantial gaps in internet access still persist.
The purpose of these grants is to stimulate the installation of approximately 12,000 miles of fiber optic infrastructure across 35 states, which include remote regions of Alaska, rural Texas, and Puerto Rico.
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"The ‘Internet for All’ initiative is about making sure that every community in the country has access to high-speed internet. We know that not every family, not every household, has that accessible, affordable, reliable, high-speed internet, as we saw over the course of the pandemic," Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves told Scripps News.
The department says the "Middle Mile" grants are part of the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes a $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed internet.
"It also means that we're going to be able to be a more competitive country because every community in the country, every small business, will now be able to access the internet and global markets in a way that they hadn't before," said Graves.
Graves says that we should start seeing some of the impact of these grants "as soon as later this year, and over the course of the next few years" and overall they should help over 100 million people across the country.
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