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Treasury Department Announces Approval of Federal Funds to Connect Over 17,000 Oregon Homes and Businesses to Affordable, High-Speed Internet as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

To date, the Capital Projects Fund has awarded over $8.4 billion for broadband, digital technology, and multi-purpose community center projects in all 50 states, estimated to reach over two million locations

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of $156.7 million for high-speed internet projects in Oregon under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF), which the state estimates will connect approximately 17,195 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet as a part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. A key priority of the CPF program is making funding available for broadband infrastructure to expand economic opportunities and provide internet connectivity in communities with unmet needs.

“The pandemic upended life as we knew it and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country, including rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy.”

“I know firsthand from town halls throughout our state how Oregonians want, need and deserve modern connections to high-speed internet. That’s why I worked with my colleagues to ensure that the American Rescue Plan included this funding, so that rural states could invest in the infrastructure they need to get homes and families connected,” Senator Ron Wyden said. “This $149 million federal investment in broadband infrastructure will ripple out throughout communities to grow our economy.”

“In today’s world, fast and affordable broadband is crucial for communities and businesses to succeed,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “These investments are huge for Oregonians in every corner of the state, and especially in rural Oregon, which will benefit from speedier internet access.”

“Broadband is infrastructure—just like roads, bridges, and transit—and is essential to the health, safety and economic security of our communities. Today, I am delighted that the Biden Administration is announcing the single largest investment in broadband in Oregon’s history,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03). “This will pay dividends in ensuring our communities are prepared for the reality of the 21st century.”

“Oregonians need broadband to run their businesses, advance their education, communicate with loved ones, and more,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01). “Expanding broadband is a matter of equity – from the coast to downtown Portland, everyone benefits from connectivity. I’m grateful that the Biden Administration is investing almost $156 million in the Oregon Capital Projects Fund to expand broadband. This investment will improve internet speeds for people across the state and open more doors to opportunity.”

“It’s simply unacceptable that more than a million Oregonians live without access to high-speed internet in 2023. The lack of reliable broadband in rural communities isn’t merely an inconvenience – it’s a serious problem with negative ramifications across all facets of life, from health care to employment to education,” said Representative Andrea Salinas (OR-06). “That’s why I’m so excited that the Biden Administration has approved more than $156 million for broadband expansion across our state. This investment will not only improve lives today but set future generations of Oregonians up for long-term success and prosperity.”

“Our rural and underserved communities need to be front and center in Congress. I could not be more thrilled that Oregon will receive $156.7 million for broadband expansion. Large internet service providers with near-monopolies neglect rural communities, but this funding will support last-mile broadband infrastructure and provide internet subsidies for low-income families. This is how we ensure underserved and rural communities are better equipped for remote work, emergency preparation, and more,” said Representative Val Hoyle (OR-04).

“This unprecedented funding will strengthen Oregon’s broadband infrastructure and expand access to quality internet service,” Oregon Governor Tina Kotek said. “This award, which is part of President Biden’s Investing in America effort, will help rural and low-income communities across Oregon develop high-quality modern broadband infrastructure and expand access to telehealth, job opportunities, education, and so much more.”

CPF provides a total of $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring. In addition to the $10 billion provided by CPF, many governments are putting a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) toward meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of connecting every American household to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Together, these American Rescue Plan programs and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are working in tandem with President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to close the digital divide – deploying high-speed internet to those without access and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it.

Oregon is approved to receive $149 million for broadband infrastructure projects, which the state estimates will connect approximately 17,195 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. The state’s allocation will fund the Oregon Broadband Deployment Program (BDP), a competitive grant program designed to fund last-mile broadband infrastructure in areas of the state lacking internet speeds of 100/20 Mbps. The program will prioritize projects that will provide service to those locations currently lacking service that reliably meets 10/1 Mbps. Along with approximately $7.7 million for administrative purposes, the plan approved by the Treasury Department today represents 100% of the state’s total allocation under the Capital Project Funds program.

In accordance with the Treasury Department’s guidance, each state’s plan requires service providers to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, helps ensure that households can afford high-speed internet by providing a discount of up to $30 per month (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Experts estimate that nearly 40% of U.S. households are eligible for the program.

To further lower costs, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced last year that the Administration had secured commitments from 20 leading internet service providers—covering more than 80% of the U.S. population—to offer all ACP-eligible households high-speed, reliable internet plans for no more than $30 per month. As a result of this agreement and the ACP, eligible households can receive internet access at no cost and can check their eligibility and sign up at GetInternet.gov. Already, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has delivered affordable, high-speed internet to over 20 million American households, through these CPF investments funded by the American Rescue Plan, and through the Affordable Connectivity Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Treasury Department began announcing awards in June 2022. To date, CPF has awarded over $8.4 billion for broadband, digital technology, and multi-purpose community center projects in all states and three territories, which states and territories estimate will reach over two million locations, in addition to the tens of thousands of individuals who will be served annually by multi-purpose community facilities.

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1767

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