Rep. Cuellar announces $8.1M for Texas internet development

A pair of grants from the Internet for All initiative for Texas totaling over $8.1 million were announced Thursday, Dec. 22 by Rep. Henry Cuellar.

The funding for the grants will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The money will be used for ensuring the availability of affordable and reliable high-speed internet service throughout Texas.

“Whether it’s helping our children access their online assignments or connecting patients with their telehealth appointments, the internet has become a daily part of our lives. The necessity for broadband and high-speed internet has never been greater,” Cuellar said. “I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last year to bridge the digital divide for those who lack reliable internet access. Today’s award is the first step in ensuring the entire State of Texas is online and prepared for the ever-changing world of tomorrow.”

The largest portion of the funding awarded is $5 million through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. The program provides funding to increase access through planning and infrastructure deployment. It will be used to close the broadband availability gap through a five-year plan along with doing research to identify underserved locations and creating outreach and communications support.

Texas will receive an additional $3,110,148.10 from the Digital Equity Act for a total of $8,110,148.10. This funding will help deploy the Statewide Digital Equity Plan, solicit proposals, work with organizations and nonprofits, create partnerships through subgrantee roundtables, and establish a digital equity planning coalition.

The announcement from Cuellar comes about a month after AT&T announced on Nov. 17 it is attempting to close the digital divide in Laredo with its fiber network available to nearly 1,000 new customers and expansion to new locations on the horizon.

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