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Closing the digital divide has become a public responsibility, which was made clear during the pandemic when online access became essential for schooling, for working and for accessing health care.
Plus, the USDA is providing $25 million for rural broadband; Pennsylvania offers $20 million worth of devices; Raleigh, N.C., gets a state grant; and more.
A grant of nearly $3.8 million from the Nebraska Capital Projects Fund will deliver fiber optics to a 70-square-mile area around Stromsburg and southwest Osceola. It includes 176 homes deemed “unserved” by fiber.
The California Public Utilities Commission has awarded $45 million in grant funding to three regional Internet service providers, the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership announced recently.
The grants range between $75,000 and $150,000 each, and they are spread out between 10 different cities across the country, many of which are working to boost digital skills training.
The county has received nearly $700,000 from the state Completing Access to Broadband program. With matching money from the county, the money should enable 915 businesses and homeowners to access high-speed Internet.
When the city cut off LanCity Connect's residential service, it ended what had become, dating back to September 2021, a free Internet service for its 136 remaining customers.
State regulators shot down an unpopular proposal by AT&T to scrap landline service for much of California, which critics say strips some residents of a communications lifeline during emergencies.
Plus, more initial proposals for BEAD funding have been approved, census data reveals insights on the digital divide, and more.
Some 75 percent of low-income residents in Philadelphia, for example, say that they cannot afford to pay more than $21 a month for a broadband subscription.
The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board is seeking help from Cayuga and two other counties in its pursuit of a $29.5 million state grant to bring broadband to unserved areas.
The Syracuse City Council is considering resolutions to let it use a $10.8 million state grant to build out infrastructure, bringing Surge Link broadband to about 4,700 low-income households.
The money, to be disbursed over the next five years, was activated by National Telecommunications and Information Administration approval of the state’s high-speed Internet spending plan.
Federal approval of the state’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program smooths the way for the grant application process to open to Internet service providers, expected in late summer.
The economic development corporation in the county has worked with county GIS, an area planning board and the state to push out high-speed Internet to roughly 4 percent of households without it.