The Garden State has received more than $6 million in “Internet for All” grants, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced on Dec. 20.
Funding for the awards comes via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aiming to provide affordable, equitable and reliable high-speed internet.
New Jersey will receive $4.9 million through the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment program, which will be used for research and data collection; publications, outreach and communications support; technical assistance to potential subgrantees; surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption.
An additional $1.17 million comes through the Digital Equity Act, which will be used for activities such as closing the digital equity gap and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan; staff recruitment and development; and community and stakeholder engagement.
In a news release, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo commended Gov. Phil Murphy for supporting the initiative.“The Internet is an essential service that gives access to healthcare, education, and employment that everyone in the Garden State should have,” she said.
Murphy thanked the Biden Administration and the state congressional delegation for the funding, something he said will dramatically expand access to affordable high-speed internet in New Jersey.
“Since the outset of my Administration, I have been determined to restore and revamp our infrastructure, which includes not just roads and bridges, but the broadband that connects our residents to opportunity and each other,” the governor said. “It’s comprehensive federal investments like these that will continue to make our state fairer and our communities more equitable for generations to come.”
“These two critical grants will help us to expand high-speed Internet access to thousands more New Jerseyans while ensuring digital equity,” said Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.