Today, the Biden-Harris administration launches a $45 billion “Internet for All” initiative slated to bring affordable high-speed internet to everyone in America. The Internet for All initiative will invest $45 billion to provide affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for everyone in America by the end of the decade. The initiative will be administered and implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
The idea is to build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide necessary technology to ensure that everyone in America—including communities of color, rural communities, and older Americans—has the access and skills they need to fully participate in today’s society. “Roughly 1 in 5 American households aren’t connected to the internet. That’s a fifth of our country that’s unable to fully participate in modern life.”
The new website states, “High-speed internet access isn’t a luxury.” During the pandemic, we saw the impact the lack of internet availability and digital literacy had on those seeking to use telehealth services. Could this initiative support access to the internet in rural and urban internet deserts? How about solve the digital-literacy concerns for those who do not know how to use the technology needed to seek healthcare services in the new digital world? The idea is that virtual care will reduce costs while improving patient care. This includes telehealth but also new remote patient monitoring (using devices to send information to your doctor) and virtual visits and check ins between visits with doctors. This would provide digital health equity to everyone.
The Internet for all programs launched today with three Notices of Funding Opportunity:
- Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program ($42.5 billion)
- Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program ($1 billion)
- State Digital Equity Act program ($1.5 billion)
For more information, please visit InternetForAll.gov.