Follow Us! 

Administration Requests Input on $2.7 Billion Digital Equity Act Grant Programs

Will Hold Public Listening Sessions

In a March 1 press release, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a pre-publication Notice and Request for Comments regarding “how to structure nearly $2.7 billion in grant programs to ensure everyone in America has the digital skills and devices they need to realize the full potential of high-speed Internet access.”

Members are encouraged to engage with state and/or local entities to ensure that access for households they assist is addressed.

The Digital Equity Act Programs included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are:

  • State Digital Equity Capacity Program Grants. $1.44 Billion will be distributed to states that are currently in a planning mode.  Funding will support implementation of state and territories’ digital equity plans, which will identify barriers and strategies to overcome those barriers. Details of how distributions and other program requirements and priorities will be determined are open for comment. 
  • Digital Equity Program Grants. $1.27 Billion will be distributed through a competitive grants process. These grants will fund organizations including schools, libraries, nonprofits and others offering digital inclusion activities and promoting Internet adoption. Again, how distributions and other program requirements and priorities will be determined is open for comment. 


NTIA Engaging the Public for Comment

Although details were not yet available, NTIA is encouraging public comment and plans to hold public listening sessions. They have even released a draft of PowerPoint slides on how to submit effective comments and how to prepare for a public listening session. The draft includes selected questions from the 25 specific questions posed in the formal request for comment. Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the federal register. 

The resources available at Internet for All are substantial. The Digital Equity Act Programs page alone provides links on how to submit comments, the status of state plans as well as state and NTIA contacts, and some interactive maps regarding federal data on current access and obstacles. 

PHADA Fact Sheets, Issue Briefs, and Position Papers

Read PHADA's in-depth analysis of important issues facing the industry.

Read More