“As essential as water or electricity”; Senator Murray celebrates the launch of the “Internet for All” initiative

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The Biden administration launched the ‘internet for all‘, which US Senator Patty Murray says will help connect all of Washington to high-speed internet.

The initiative was officially launched on Friday, with the goal of investing $65 billion in affordable broadband internet for everyone in America by the end of the decade.

“Having a reliable high-speed internet connection is just as essential as having running water or electricity. Families need high-speed internet for school, work, healthcare and more” , Murray said. “That’s why I fought so hard to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which included my Digital Equity Act, to put us on the path to universal broadband and ensure everyone can get the get the most out of a high-speed Internet connection. This funding will help ensure that we have high-speed Internet access in every community in Washington State, from the Yakima Valley to Bellingham, and that will open up more countless doors and creating real opportunities for workers, students, seniors and many more.”

The senator’s office says the initiative also builds on Murray’s “Digital Equity Act” of 2019 to provide $2.75 billion in grants to states, tribes and other communities. This money can be used for things beyond just broadband infrastructure, like laptops for students or digital literacy classes for seniors.

The initiative has also launched with three separate programs that organizations can apply for:

  • Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program; $42.5 billion
  • Activation of the Middle Mile broadband infrastructure program; $1 billion
  • State Digital Equity Act programs; $1.5 billion

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To apply for these programs, organizations must create long-term action plans to move their projects forward, and the BEAD program guarantees each state a minimum allocation of $100 million.

The initiative will be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA) of the US Department of Commerce.

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