Oregon to Receive $689 Million for Broadband Infrastructure

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Funding designed to improve access to high-speed internet for rural, underserved communities

Photo by Denny MĂĽller on Unsplash

Salem, OR—Today, Governor Tina Kotek announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will be allocating $688.9 million to Oregon to help improve access to affordable, high-speed, reliable internet in unserved and underserved communities across Oregon.

The funding allocation will be used to develop and deploy the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law. The Biden Administration’s announcement can be found here.

“Access to quality internet in 2023 is critical to a community’s local economy,” Governor Kotek said. “This substantial investment in Oregon’s broadband infrastructure will help to remedy the digital divide in rural, unserved, and underserved communities across the state, ensuring that Oregonians are able to access telehealth, business opportunities, education, and so much more.

“I want to thank the Biden Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Congress for this investment. I also want to give a special thanks to Secretary Gina Raimondo, Senator Ron Wyden, and Oregon’s Broadband Office for their efforts to ensure that Oregon gets their fair share of the resources through advocating for maps that accurately depict our state’s broadband needs.”

“High-speed Internet is essential to our daily lives, but too many communities across our state lack access to reliable, affordable, high speed broadband speeds. We’re changing that,” said Sophorn Cheang, Director, Business Oregon. “I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for this historic nearly $690 million investment for Oregon, that will enable our State to increase access to quality, affordable, high speed internet for our unserved and underserved communities.”

The Broadband Office is currently in the planning and development phase of their BEAD and Digital Equity (DE) programming.

Business Oregon’s Broadband Office is currently seeking community input as the agency readies a five-year action plan and initial proposal to map out how to use this funding. Input via the surveys and meetings will be crucial to inform the plan and gather information about specific barriers, needs, and opportunities related to high-speed internet access. For more information on how to participate, click here.

By Oregon Press Release – June 26, 2023 – https://www.oregon.gov/newsroom/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?newsid=166749

From the Oregon Broadband Office

Governor Tina Kotek announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will be allocating nearly $689 million to Oregon to help improve access to affordable, high-speed, reliable internet in unserved and underserved communities across Oregon. 

The funding allocation will essentially be the program budget for developing and deploying the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program in Oregon and ultimately implement the state’s plan. Below is a list of broadband funding and availability status. The Business Oregon Broadband Office has applied for the funds below and is actively in the program planning and development phase. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

When will funding be available?
We are currently in the program planning and development phase. The federal deadline for the state’s 5-Year Action Plan is August 28, 2023. Then the Initial Proposal for spending is due December 2023, and late 2024 for the Final Proposal. After the Final Proposal is approved by the NTIA, the program is expected to be implemented over the course of four years and is tentative to be completed in 2028.

Who is eligible for funding?
This will be developed as part of the State Action Plan under development now for the BEAD funding. Here is a one-pager from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

What can the funding be used for?
BEAD funds can have many uses, but there is a great need in the state, and broadband deployment will be a priority for funding. Examples of eligible funding uses include:

  • Planning for the deployment of high-speed Internet, including conducting research, collecting data, outreach, and training 
  • Deploying or upgrading Internet in unserved or underserved areas or improving service to community anchor organizations
  • Installing Internet and Wi-Fi in multi-unit residential buildings
  • Adoption and digital equity programs
  • Workforce development programs and vocational training programs

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