The U.S. Treasury Department announced this week the latest cohort of states approved to receive money for broadband infrastructure from the American Rescue Plan’s $10 billion Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund: Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“Together, these states will use their funding to connect more than 91,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed Internet,” according to the Treasury’s press release.
Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, and West Virginia were the first states approved to receive CPF funds in June; followed by Kansas, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota in July; and Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Arkansas in August.
The latest tranche of CPF funds totals a little over $435 Million with Massachusetts approved for $145 million to fund new broadband infrastructure; $250.6 million for Michigan; and $40 million for Wisconsin.
A virtual press event was held on Thursday announcing the awards, led by Gene Sperling, Senior Advisor to the President and American Rescue Plan Coordinator; Jacob Leibenluft, U.S. Treasury Chief Recovery Officer; U.S. Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan; and Chairwoman of Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission Rebecca Cameron Valcq.
In Massachusetts, the funds will be used for the Commonwealth’s Broadband Infrastructure Gap Networks Grant Program. The state estimates that will be enough to connect 16,000 households and businesses, which represents 27 percent of locations in the state that lack high-speed Internet access.
Sen. Markey spoke to the importance of high-speed Internet connectivity and how it touches nearly every aspect of day-to-day life:
The Internet is the connective tissue of our commercial, social, and civic lives allowing friends and families to communicate across continents; for small businesses to reach new markets; and we just saw in Florida and Puerto Rico that Internet access issues becomes even more...