In today’s world, fast, reliable access to the digital world is no longer a luxury but a necessity to fully participate in our economy and our society. Internet access is needed to access everything from job applications to online utility portals and online classrooms.
The federal infrastructure law includes $64 billion to expand broadband access to ensure that every resident has access to high-speed internet. This includes programs that:
- Provide high-speed service to rural areas, where it can be too expensive for service providers to install the necessary infrastructure.
- Help lower the cost of service for residents in underserved communities to help bridge the digital divide and increase equity.
Programs that have the greatest relevance to metro Atlanta are:
- The Digital Equity Planning, Digital Equity Capacity, and Digital Equity Competitive Grants will help promote digital inclusion and equity for underserved communities. The grants may also be used to accelerate adoption of broadband through digital literacy training, workforce development, and other measures.
- The Affordable Connectivity Program, administered by the FCC, which provides a subsidy of up to $30 per month for low-income families to use toward the internet service plan of their choice, as well as a one-time $100 stipend to purchase a computer.