Biden Administratopm Awards $147 Million For Massachusetts Internet Access

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By Sam Drysdale
State House News Service

The federal government is sending $147 million Massachusetts’s way to expand high-speed Internet in the state.

President Joe Biden announced $42 billion in federal funds for broadband expansion across the country on Monday, June 26, $147 million of which will be directed to the Bay State.

In Massachusetts, the funding will be deployed through a five-year plan that the Massachusetts Broadband Institute is developing with the Massachusetts Broadband and Digital Equity Working Group.

As part of that work, the institute is seeking input from residents about their barriers to Internet access, affordability, and adoption through a statewide Digital Equity survey. The institute’s plan to use the funds is due back to the federal government later this year.

“This new funding from the BEAD program will be a gamechanger for Massachusetts and the grant programs that will flow out of our statewide digital equity planning effort,” said Quentin Palfrey, the Massachusetts director of federal funds and infrastructure. “This funding will continue Massachusetts’s legacy of leveraging federal investment to build an economy around innovation and learning by ensuring residents statewide can adopt the 21st century digital tools that many of us take for granted.”

Palfrey, whom Governor Maura Healey tapped as her administration’s point man to compete for federal dollars, attended the announcement at the White House on Monday.

Since her election, Healey has spoken often about prioritizing federal funding opportunities, and has weaved matching funds for federal grants into spending bills.

She signed a supplemental budget in March that directed $30 million to provide matching funds for federal funding for broadband infrastructure.

“With these funds, Massachusetts will build on ongoing work to ensure that our residents can access the affordable and reliable broadband service they need to work, learn, access healthcare resources, and connect with loved ones,” the governor said in a written statement.


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