July 15, 2022
Federal funding is provided through the Capital Projects Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md. ) announced $95 million in federal funding for broadband infrastructure projects that will bring high-quality internet to areas that lack access to adequate service. That funding comes from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF), which was created by the U.S. bailout that Democratic lawmakers fought to pass in March 2021. The U.S. Treasury Department approved the state’s plan for Maryland to invest this funding in Maryland. Network Infrastructure Grant Program, which is designed to provide resources directly to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for large-scale broadband projects in areas that lack adequate and affordable services, with the goal of bridging racial digital divides and socioeconomics across the state. This funding will help connect approximately 16,667 homes and businesses to broadband Internet.
“Access to the Internet is a vital link to our world – connecting many Marylanders to work, school, family and friends, and so much more. That’s why bridging the digital divide and connecting communities across our state to broadband has been and continues to be one of our top priorities,” lawmakers said. “We fought to push through the US bailout to address this priority for the people of Maryland, and now this $95 million will help bring tens of thousands of people and small businesses online. We will continue to work to expand broadband access and open new doors to new opportunities for our state.
“These investments in broadband through the US bailout will help lay the foundation to ensure that every American home and small business has access to affordable high-speed internet,” he added. said Undersecretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “Treasury applauds Maryland’s efforts to use this funding to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all communities have access to affordable high-speed internet.”
The Network Infrastructure Grant Program will support ISPs’ efforts to provide Internet service with download and upload speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps), which are needed for multiple users in a household are online simultaneously. Each of the program-funded ISPs will participate in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a $30-per-month subsidized service for low-income families. Maryland requires participating ISPs to match CPF grant funds at a rate determined by the density of the service area.
The CPF was created as part of the U.S. bailout to address the many challenges laid bare by the pandemic — especially in rural areas and low- and moderate-income communities — and help ensure equitable access to high quality modern infrastructure needed to access essential services. In total, the U.S. bailout provides $10 billion in payments to eligible governments to complete critical investment projects that directly enable work, education and health surveillance, including options to distance, in response to the public health emergency.
The U.S. bailout included historic investments in Maryland for broadband infrastructure, education and child care, health care, small businesses, public transit, the tourism industry, etc – bringing significant resources directly to Maryland to help workers, families and local authorities fight COVID-19 and recover from the health and economic impacts of the virus.
Along with historic Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act funding for broadband deployment, this investment will connect countless more Americans to affordable high-speed Internet and promote digital inclusion.