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Treasury announces $1B to expand Internet access in six states

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wait to speak about expanding high-speed Internet access at the White House in May. The Treasury Department Thursday said nearly $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan is going to six states to connect 180,00 homes and business to affordable broadband service. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wait to speak about expanding high-speed Internet access at the White House in May. The Treasury Department Thursday said nearly $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan is going to six states to connect 180,00 homes and business to affordable broadband service. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department Thursday announced nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan high-speed Internet funding for Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah.

"This funding will lay the foundation for the Biden-Harris Administration's historic investments to increase access to high-speed Internet and reduce Internet bills for American households and businesses," Deputy Treasury Sec. Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

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Adeyemo said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the "stark inequity" in access to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet in rural, tribal and other underrepresented communities.

According to the Treasury Department this funding will be used to connect more than 180,000 homes and businesses to affordable high-speed internet.

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The Capital Projects Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories and tribal government to fund critical capital projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes funding for high-speed Internet.

Each state's plan under this funding requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission's new Affordable Connectivity Plan. It provides high-speed Internet discounts of up to $30 a month, $75 a month on tribal lands.

In addition, the Biden administration said it has secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed Internet for no more than $30 a month.

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For Florida, the newly announced funding will provide $248 million to connect 48,400 households. Georgia will get $250 million helping to connect an estimated 70,000 households.

Iowa will use $152.2 million to provide high-speed Internet to 18,972 households and businesses. Minnesota gets $44 million that it will use to fund two broadband projects -- Minnesota's Line Extension Program and the Low-Density Pilot Program.

Missouri gets $196.7 million which it estimates will connect 37,979 households and businesses currently lacking high-speed Internet access. Utah will connect 3,080 homes and businesses using $10 million in government funding.

RELATED USDA allocates $759 million to expand rural high-speed Internet

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