by Brent Addleman
A Connecticut plan to use federal funding to expand broadband access in the state has gained federal approval.
The Connecticut Broadband Infrastructure Program, Gov. Ned Lamont said, will use $42.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand service to underserved areas in the state and was approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Broadband will be expanded, or improved, in 10,000 households and businesses.
“Expanding access to high-speed internet is one of our administration’s top priorities because in a modern world, lack of broadband access means people are being held back from connecting to educational resources, job opportunities, and health-care services,” Lamont said in a release. “Until we tackle our underserved broadband challenges in our urban, suburban, and rural areas, we will not have equitable access for all and achieve the economic recovery that we need.”
The program, according to the release, will use competitive grant scoring and is meant to support the state’s goal of universal access to affordable, resilient, and reliable internet. It will focus on low-income communities.
The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy will administer the program, according to the release, which is expected to launch in early 2023.
Broadband with speeds of at least 100 megabytes per second, according to the release, will be expanded with a future goal of 1 gigabit-per-second with upload speeds of 100 Mbps, along with 1 Gbps for anchor institutions in communities.
The internet service providers encompassed in the program, according to the release, will be mandated to join the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which will offer internet to low-income households for $30 per month off their bills.
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor for The Center Square and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.
Photo “Broadband Installation” by Mika Baumeister.