Part of the single largest federal investment in high-speed internet in U.S. history
By Black Headline News
Birmingham, AL – Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced that $1.4 billion from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will soon make its way to Alabama to expand access to high-speed internet. The funding—which has been allocated by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program—is part of an over $40 billion nationwide investment by the Biden-Harris Administration in America's broadband infrastructure, the single largest federal investment in high-speed internet in our nation's history. Rep. Sewell was the only member of the Alabama congressional delegation to vote in favor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
"In our 21st century economy, access to reliable high-speed internet is not a luxury. It is a necessity," said Rep. Sewell. "Thanks to President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we're devoting more resources than ever before to expanding broadband, closing the digital divide, and ensuring that every Alabamian can connect to high-speed internet. These funds will be a game-changer for our state, and I look forward to working with ADECA to ensure that they are equitably distributed to HBCUs and underserved communities, including in Birmingham and the Black Belt."
Broadband internet is necessary for Alabamians to do their jobs, participate equally in school learning, access health care, and stay connected. Yet as of 2021, 18% of Alabama households did not have an internet subscription, and 11.5% of Alabama residents lived in areas where, under the FCC's benchmark, there was no broadband infrastructure. The $1.4 billion in BEAD funding announced today will be used to deploy or upgrade broadband networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used to pursue eligible access-, adoption-, and equity-related uses.
To date, Alabama has been awarded nearly $2 billion under the Biden-Harris Administration to expand broadband infrastructure.