BREAKING: Shaheen Leads NH Delegation in Welcoming Nearly $200M from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Expand Broadband Infrastructure
**Shaheen was the Democratic negotiator on broadband provisions in the historic bipartisan infrastructure law**
**In May, Shaheen lauded the new broadband map released by the FCC that determined this new allocation of Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program resources**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead negotiator of broadband provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobst Act (IIJA) and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Commerce, announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the State of New Hampshire will receive $196.56 million for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable and reliable high-speed internet service. Funding comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate and the full delegation supported.
Specifically, the funding will be provided through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and was established by the bipartisan IIJA. The new broadband map released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in May, and lauded by Shaheen, was used to provide a more accurate analysis of services throughout New Hampshire and the nation, and to determine allocations for more rural areas that are in need of federal investments to get their communities online and connected to the rest of the state, country and world.
“This is the largest broadband grant program from the historic bipartisan infrastructure law that will be a game-changer for communities in New Hampshire, especially in the more rural parts of our state. Getting people online and connected will impact their quality of life, affecting everything from access to health care appointments, business transactions, remote education programs and much more,” said Shaheen, who wrote the broadband provisions that created the BEAD program. “When Senator Collins and I worked on the broadband provisions of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, this is precisely what we had in mind. I’m excited to announce this for New Hampshire and to reassure Granite Staters that our communities are getting our fair share of resources to create and support the broadband networks necessary to lift up families in every corner of our state.”
“This major investment in New Hampshire will help expand access to reliable, high-speed internet to more parts of New Hampshire, which is key to the success of our people and businesses in today’s economy,” said Senator Hassan. “I was proud to help negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure law, which made this program possible, and I will continue working to ensure that Granite Staters have the resources that they need to thrive.”
“When we expand access to high-speed broadband, we expand access to economic opportunities and create new ways for Granite Staters to thrive,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I am thrilled to see this significant funding heading to New Hampshire to strengthen our broadband infrastructure and connect more families, students, small businesses, and communities with affordable, quality internet access.”
“Access to high-speed internet enables our businesses to compete, communities to thrive, and Granite Staters to succeed,” said Congressman Pappas. “By expanding broadband across New Hampshire, this investment will help close the digital equity gap, improve education, and boost our local economy. I was proud to help pass the bipartisan infrastructure law to secure these funds, and I’ll continue fighting for resources that improve quality of life in New Hampshire.”
The updated FCC broadband map used to decide New Hampshire’s nearly $200 million allocation is available here. Preliminary findings indicate that the number of Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) in New Hampshire increased by 10,815 since the last map. The number of unserved locations also increased by 2,273. These figures point to a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of unserved locations, an increase that was very high relative to most other states. According to the data, the representation of fixed wireless availability in New Hampshire went down, and 51,505 corrections were made by providers to the fixed wireless service offerings at BSLs across the state. These data corrections reflect a more accurate assessment of broadband service availability for homes and businesses in New Hampshire. This improved map will help ensure New Hampshire receives the full level of federal funding needed to close the digital divide and provide all Granite Staters with access to affordable high-speed internet.
Senator Shaheen has long worked to bridge the digital divide in New Hampshire to get the state’s most rural communities online. As a lead negotiator of the broadband provisions included in the bipartisan infrastructure law, Senator Shaheen worked with Senator Collins (R-ME) to include authorization of the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program and the BEAD Program. These programs support states in planning projects that will expand broadband access and increase digital literacy so that individuals have the necessary skills and technological resources to fully leverage the benefits of high-speed internet access. In total, she successfully secured $65 billion to support broadband affordability and deployment across the nation.
Senator Hassan also helped to negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure package, including key provisions on high-speed internet, passenger rail, coastal resiliency, and cybersecurity. The bill also incorporates elements of bipartisan legislation Senator Hassan authored to support rural broadband using private activity bonds to help pay for high-speed internet infrastructure in unserved locations, an approach that allows state and local governments to access and leverage new sources of capital and attract investment for broadband.