Shaheen Leads NH Delegation in Welcoming $5.5M from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Expand Broadband InfrastructureDecember 21, 2022
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) welcomed $5,525,033 to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state. Funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate and the delegation supported. The funding announcement was made by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of its “Internet for All” initiative.
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 Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment 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.
“I’m thrilled to welcome over $5.5 million to New Hampshire to expand broadband by planning and developing infrastructure deployment. Connectivity drives our small businesses, schools and economy, yet too many rural communities across our state still don’t have reliable broadband. As a lead negotiator around broadband provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal that made this funding possible, it’s rewarding to see this funding in action,” said Shaheen. “I’m excited for the Granite State to harness these broadband investments – putting more households on the map and propelling our state forward.”
“Expanding high-speed internet access to New Hampshire is essential to helping young people, families, and small businesses thrive in every corner of our state – which is why we worked to secure critical broadband funding in the bipartisan infrastructure law,” said Hassan. “This federal funding is an exciting step forward, and I look forward to seeing how New Hampshire will use bipartisan infrastructure law funding to work with local communities and get high-speed internet access to every household and small business in our state.”
"I am thrilled to see these federal resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law heading to our state to expand broadband access and equity," said Rep. Kuster, a Member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force. "Quality, high-speed internet access is critical for families, students, and small businesses across New Hampshire to thrive. I will continue working to deliver for the Granite State to strengthen our economy and communities."
“It’s critical that Granite Staters have access to high-speed internet that enables our businesses to compete and communities to thrive. This vital broadband funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law invests in securing all New Hampshire communities high-speed internet which will improve education and boost local economies,” said Rep. Pappas. “I look forward to seeing these investments in broadband come to fruition and I’ll always fight for resources to improve quality of life and education in New Hampshire.”
“Bringing Internet connectivity to all, especially those in rural and unserved communities, is essential to provide equitable access to education, work, and health services,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “I want to thank the New Hampshire congressional delegation of Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas for their leadership and support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and this important broadband program. This would not have been possible without them. I also commend Governor Sununu for his support for the Internet for All initiative."
New Hampshire will receive $5 million through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program for:
- Supporting the development of a Five-Year Action Plan, advancing the goals of the BEAD Program, and eventually contributing to ensuring all residents of New Hampshire have both access to broadband but also the means and training to best use it;
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations;
- Providing technical assistance to potential subgrantees, including through workshops and events;
- Asset mapping to catalogue broadband adoption, affordability, equity, access, and deployment activities.
New Hampshire will receive $525,033.51 through the Digital Equity Program for:
- Helping close the digital equity gap and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan;
- Supporting development of a plan to identify covered populations and their digital equity challenges and developing strategies to address those challenges.
Senator Hassan also helped to negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure package, including key provisions on high-speed internet, passenger rail, coastal resiliency, and cybersecurity. The law 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.
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