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Texas Set To Receive $3.3 Billion In Federal Funds

Texas is set to receive more than $3.3 billon in Federal money, the most of any state, to help in the expansion of broadband availability statewide, the Biden Administration announced on Monday.

The money will be distributed from the $42.45 billion in the broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program as part of president Joe Biden’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds aim to connect more than 8.5 million households and small businesses nationwide and nearly 2.8 million of those households without broadband are in Texas. Each state received at least $107 million.

Separately, the BEAD program includes more than $14 billion in funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which makes broadband service more affordable for eligible households nationwide, $2 billion for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, and $2 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s Reconnect Program that provides loans and grants to build broadband infrastructure in eligible rural areas.

Texas and the other states can submit initial funding proposals from July 1 through Dec. 27. After the National Telecommunications and Information Administration approves proposals, which will occur on a rolling basis, states and territories will be able to access at least 20% of their funds. The Texas Broadband Development Office will allocate the funds, which will go to where the state and federal broadband maps indicate service is needed. However, service providers and local officials have disputed the accuracy of those maps.

The Biden administration has compared its investment in broadband to the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, which offered low-cost loans to help bring electricity to rural areas.

According to a statement, the Biden administration expects that all states and territories will now have the resources to connect everyone in the country by 2030.


Author: Ethan Klein

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