The Treasury Department has approved $354 million of funding for three new projects that will bring high-speed internet to 190,000 homes and businesses in Arizona, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
Funding for the projects comes from the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund, which 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. Treasury noted that “a key priority of the Capital Projects Fund program is to make funding available for reliable, affordable high-speed internet infrastructure, advancing President Biden’s goal of affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for everyone in America.”
“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 Treasury 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.”
In a press release, Treasury highlighted the broadband expansion plans submitted by Arizona, Tennessee, and Wyoming:
- Arizona will receive $99.4 million for high-speed internet infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect an estimated 127,807 households and businesses to high-speed internet access. The funding will go towards two grant programs, with one aimed at connecting rural residents and business, and the other aimed at connecting urban residents and business to high-speed internet.
- Tennessee will receive $185 million for high-speed internet infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect an estimated 50,000 households and businesses to high-speed internet access. Tennessee will fund two high-speed internet infrastructure programs, targeting both “last mile” and “middle mile” connection pressure points.
- Wyoming will receive $70.5 million for high-speed internet infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect an estimated 11,700 households and businesses to high-speed internet access. Wyoming’s award will fund the Connect Wyoming grant program, a competitive grant program designed to fund last mile broadband infrastructure projects in areas throughout the state.
Treasury began announcing state broadband awards in June of last year, and thus far 33 states have been approved to invest approximately $4.85 billion of Capital Project Funds in affordable, reliable high-speed internet. States that have received funding estimate the funding will help broadband reach more than 1.4 million locations. Treasury said it will continue approving state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis.