State Broadband Programs
May 17, 2017
Contributor: Mike Wilson
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act supported five years of statewide broadband management programs through the State Broadband Initiative. The Federal program has ended and the program’s grant funds have been expended. There have been three years of steady attrition of state broadband programs across the U.S. While NTIA, through its BroadbandUSA program continues to inform and promote communication between states to support broadband programs, there are no Federal funds directly supporting state broadband initiatives. The ARRA’s BTOP program’s $4.7mil is also gone, which leaves state policy makers deciding whether to fund undeserved communities.
Are states picking up where NTIA and the feds left off? Most are not. However, more states are starting to push infrastructure programs out the door, albeit slowly. Below is a list of statewide broadband infrastructure funding programs. While this list is likely not exhaustive, it’s a good start on a growing list of states that have committed funding for broadband.