Biden-Harris administration awards SD millions for ‘Internet for All’

Glenn Carstens-Peters
Glenn Carstens-Peters(Glenn Carstens-Peters)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 4:44 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Dakota News Now) - The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that South Dakota received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative.

South Dakota is receiving $3,131,269.95 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.

“Closing the digital divide in South Dakota ensures that everyone has access to economic and educational opportunities in an increasingly virtual world,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “I appreciate Governor Noem for her prioritization of connecting unserved and underserved rural communities to the Internet.”

All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative’s Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.

About South Dakota’s Planning Grants

Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program

The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs.

South Dakota will receive $2,604,218.30 to fund various activities, including:

  • Development of a comprehensive Five-Year Action Plan that ensures all residents of South Dakota have access to reliable, affordable, and high-speed internet service;
  • Providing technical assistance to potential subgrantees, including through workshops and events;
  • Establishing, operating, or increasing the capacity of a broadband office that oversees broadband programs and broadband deployment.

Digital Equity

The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.

South Dakota will receive $527,051.65 to fund various activities, including:

  • Community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Development of a robust State Digital Equity Plan.