Stimulus Bill Includes $7B for Broadband Funding, Including Rip and Replace, Mapping and Rural Service

The United States Congress has passed a $2.3 trillion spending package, which includes $7 billion for broadband connectivity. Specifically, the bill sets aside $1.9 billion for U.S. carriers to “rip and replace” Huawei and ZTE equipment pursuant to new rules implemented by the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”). $3.2 billion is allocated toward low-income broadband access, a fund which will be administered by the FCC. Along with previously-allocated stimulus money, the FCC is now be able to offer $20 billion to support high-speed broadband in rural
America. The bill also funds $1 billion in tribal broadband through the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”), with another $300 million allocated to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (“NTIA”) grant program for broadband in unserved areas.

The bill provides $250 million in telehealth funding, and $65 million to implement the Broadband DATA Act for broadband mapping. Finally, the bill appropriates $285 million to Connect Minority Communities Act which creates a pilot program to provide grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs”), Tribal Colleges and Universities (“TCUs”), and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (“HSIs”) to expand access to broadband and digital opportunity in those communities.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss access to these funds, please contact Dee Herman (dee@hermanwhiteaker.com) or Hilary Rosenthal (hrosenthal@hermanwhiteaker.com).