The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that 34 states and territories have “Signed On” to participate in the Internet for All initiative, which is the name the administration has given to NTIA’s implementation of parts of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. According to NTIA, the following states and territories have sent in their letter of intent or indicated they will participate: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, United States Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The bulk of the Internet for All initiative is the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. The next step in BEAD implementation requires states and other eligible entities to submit a letter of intent by July 18, 2022, and a planning funds budget by August 15, 2022. They will receive up to $5 million in planning funds and begin creating the five-year action plan required by the statute.