‘As essential as water or electricity’; sen. Murray Celebrates Launch of ‘Internet for All’ Initiative

The Biden administration has launched the ‘Internet for All’ initiative, which US Senator Patty Murray says will help connect all of Washington to high-speed internet.

On Friday, the initiative was officially launched, with the goal of investing $65 billion in affordable broadband internet for everyone in America by the end of the decade.

“Having a reliable high-speed Internet connection is just as essential as running water or electricity. Families need high-speed Internet for school, work, healthcare and more,” Murray says. “That’s why I fought hard to pass the bipartisan infrastructure law, including my Digital Equity Act, to put us on the path to universal broadband and ensure that everyone can take full advantage of high-speed Internet access. This funding will help ensure we We’re getting high-speed internet in every community in Washington State — from the Yakima Valley to Bellingham — and it will open countless doors and create real opportunities for workers, students, seniors and so many others.”

The senator’s office says the initiative is also based on Murray’s 2019 “Digital Equity Act” to provide $2.75 billion in grants to states, tribes and other communities. This money can be used for things other than broadband infrastructure, such as laptops for students or digital literacy courses for seniors.

The initiative has also launched with three separate programs that organizations can apply for:

  • Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program; $42.5 billion
  • Enable Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program; $1 billion
  • State Digital Equity Act programs; $1.5 billion

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Applying for these programs requires organizations to create long-term action plans to get their projects moving, and the BEAD program guarantees each state an allocation of at least $100 million.

The initiative will be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA) of the United States Department of Commerce.

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