Treasury Department Announces Approval of Federal Funds to Connect Tens of Thousands of Ohio Homes and Businesses to Affordable, High-Speed Internet as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

Treasury Department Announces Approval of Federal Funds to Connect Tens of Thousands of Ohio Homes and Businesses to Affordable, High-Speed Internet as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

To date, the Capital Projects Fund has awarded nearly $8 billion for broadband, digital technology, and multi-purpose community center projects in 47 states, which those states estimate will reach over two million locations

Combined with other Administration initiatives, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has brought affordable internet to over 19 million American households 

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of $162.5 million in federal funds for broadband infrastructure and multi-purpose community facility projects in Ohio under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF), part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. Today’s announcement includes two funding plans: $77.5 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 15,000 homes and businesses; and $85 million for multi-purpose community facilities, which will bring connectivity to Ohio communities for years to come. 

A key priority of the CPF program is expanding economic opportunities and providing internet connectivity in communities with unmet needs. Already, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has delivered affordable, high-speed internet to 19 million American households, through these CPF investments funded by the American Rescue Plan, and through the Affordable Connectivity Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“Digital connectivity is central to expanding economic opportunity in communities across the country,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate in the 21st century economy.” 

“Every Ohio family and Ohio business should have reliable, high-speed internet. You shouldn’t have to live in a big city or a wealthy suburb to have access to a crucial aspect of modern society and our economy,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “It’s why when we wrote the American Rescue Plan, we made sure that it not only included investment in high speed internet, but that the investment would be focused on places like Ohio, where large portions of the state have been left out.” 

“This investment by the Biden Administration benefits people and businesses across Northwest Ohio by connecting them to vital services to compete in today’s internet age,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). “Bringing modern high-speed broadband internet infrastructure to our communities will allow them to compete regionally, nationally, and globally and ensure students in rural areas will have access to 21st century technology. Building our economy from the bottom up and middle out, means leaving no Ohio community behind and this investment helps fulfill that pledge.” 

“The Capital Projects Fund Award for Ohio proves how the Biden-Harris Administration is working hard to improve the livelihoods of Central Ohioans,” said Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03). “This $162.5 million investment of American Rescue Plan funds will aid in expanding broadband infrastructure to communities who need it most, as well as create multi-use community facilities that provide access to education, community health services, and workforce development. Just last month, Ohio was announced as one of five major workforce hubs under President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. I’m proud to see the continued work and committed investment in my state and across the country.” 

“Expanding access to affordable and reliable broadband is a key component of building our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. Broadband shouldn’t be a luxury in 2023. My constituents need fair access to broadband to learn, work, grow their business, and more. This funding is good news for Ohio and good news for people in underserved communities across our state,” said Congresswoman Shontel Brown (OH-11) 

“Connecting our families to affordable high-speed internet is a big deal. This will connect thousands of folks in rural areas to better healthcare, education, and jobs. We’re so proud to announce these dollars are coming back to Ohio,” said Representative Greg Landsman (OH-01). 

“As a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, I proudly helped lead bipartisan legislation creating the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program to guarantee all Ohioans have access to affordable, high-speed internet. Now, in Congress, I’m pleased to announce more than $77 million in federal funding to continue investing in and expanding this innovative strategy,” said Representative Emilia Sykes (OH-13). “By closing the digital divide and connecting more communities, we’re ensuring every person in Ohio’s 13th District can access the resources they need to thrive in the 21st Century.” 

The CPF provides a total of $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring. In addition to the $10 billion provided by the CPF, many governments are putting a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) toward meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of connecting every American household to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Together, these American Rescue Plan programs and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are working in tandem with President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to close the digital divide – deploying high-speed internet to those without access and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it. 

Ohio is approved to receive $77.5 million for broadband infrastructure projects, which the state estimates will connect 15,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. This funding will go toward the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program (ORBEG), a competitive broadband grant program designed to fund last-mile broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas currently lacking access to reliable, high-speed internet. Ohio will invest an additional $85 million of CPF funding in Ohio’s Appalachian Community Innovation Campuses Program, a competitive grant program that provides funding to eligible counties within the Appalachian region to construct multi-purpose facilities designed to increase access to education, community health services, and workforce development opportunities. Each campus will provide public education to students across a minimum of six grade levels, health services in partnership with a healthcare provider, and a return-to-work site with internet access. Together, these projects represent 61 percent of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. 

In accordance with the Treasury Department’s guidance, each state’s plan requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Affordable Connectivity Program, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, helps ensure that households can afford high-speed internet by providing a discount of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Experts estimate that nearly 40% of U.S. households are eligible for the program. 

To further lower costs, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced last year that the Administration had secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers—covering more than 80% of the U.S. population—to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed, reliable internet plans for no more than $30 per month. As a result of this agreement and the ACP, eligible households can receive internet access at no cost and can check their eligibility and sign up at GetInternet.gov.

The Treasury Department began announcing state awards in June 2022. To date, CPF has awarded nearly $8 billion for broadband, digital technology, and multi-purpose community center projects in 47 states. States estimate that the broadband investments will reach over two million locations, in addition to the thousands of individuals who will be served annually by connected multi-purpose community facilities. The Treasury Department will continue approving state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis.

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