BOISE — The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Idaho has been awarded over $583 million under the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to expand broadband infrastructure across the state.
Created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the BEAD program is administered by NTIA within the U.S. Department of Commerce. This program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access across the country by funding planning, infrastructure and adoption programs.
The BEAD program is designed to connect the most rural parts of America and in doing so, Idaho will now have a historic opportunity to dramatically improve the existing infrastructure in a way that will allow rural Idahoans to experience the benefits of fast, reliable internet when it comes to telehealth, tele-education and telework.
In preparing for the distribution and deployment of these broadband funds, Idaho will submit and publish its 5-Year Action Plan by the end of this month. This plan outlines the state’s goals, objectives and strategy for the successful placement of broadband infrastructure statewide.
Over the next six months, the Idaho Office of Broadband will work diligently with stakeholders and local communities to further develop the state’s initial proposal for how these funds should be used and dispersed.
"Our historic investments in expanding broadband capacity across Idaho over the past few years are helping to strengthen our economy, increase access to education and health care and improve Idahoans' lives overall," said Gov. Brad Little. "The new BEAD program funds are an enormous investment in broadband access for rural Idaho, and my administration is ready to deploy the funds and better connect Idahoans to high-speed internet.”
“These dollars will have a significant impact on the state and the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board’s vision that all Idahoans have access to affordable and reliable broadband infrastructure by 2027,” said Idaho Broadband Advisory Board Chairman, Representative John Vander Woude.
For more information, visit https://commerce.idaho.gov/broadband/ and https://linkup.idaho.gov.