State will deploy infrastructure to expand Internet service | Top stories

HARTFORD — Governor Ned Lamont announced his administration’s plan to use $42.9 million in U.S. bailout funding to launch a program that will build and deploy the infrastructure needed to expand broadband Internet service. in underserved areas of Connecticut has received US Departmental approval. of the Treasury. The Connecticut Broadband Infrastructure Program will be a competitive grant program designed to support the goal of statewide universal access to affordable, resilient, and reliable Internet service.

Specifically, it will enable homes and businesses to connect to high-speed internet in areas that lack the infrastructure to support this service, with a focus on low-income communities. It will be administered by the Office of Energy and Technology Policy of the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and is expected to launch in early 2023.

The initial goal of the program is to expand or improve broadband access for 10,000 homes and businesses statewide. This includes access to symmetric upload and download speeds of at least 100 megabytes per second, while advancing toward a statewide goal of universal access to one gigabit download speeds. per second and download speeds of 100 Mbps, and symmetric speeds of one Gbps for community anchoring. establishments.

In addition to improving broadband access, the program will focus on improving the resilience and reliability of these networks by favoring more robust topologies and infrastructure deployment methods. This includes more resilient methods such as building infrastructure underground and designing switchover traffic routes that direct traffic to a secondary resource when the primary resource is weakened.

Each of the Internet service providers funded by the program will have to participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers low-income households $30 per month off their Internet bills.

“Expanding high-speed Internet access is one of our administration’s top priorities,” Governor Lamont said, “because in a modern world, lack of broadband access means people are prevented from connecting to educational resources, employment opportunities and health care services.

“Until we address the challenges of underserved broadband in our urban, suburban and rural areas, we will not have equitable access for all and achieve the economic recovery we need. I’m glad the federal government, through the Biden administration, has prioritized broadband access as an urgent need, and I appreciate their partnership with Connecticut so we can build the infrastructure needed to get everyone online.

In a joint statement, members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation said, “Broadband is an important 21st century necessity, but more than 20 percent of Connecticut residents still lack access to affordable, high-speed Internet. high quality. This significant federal funding will help close the gap by providing reliable, reasonably priced Internet service to the people in our state who need it most.

DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said: “Broadband connectivity has become an essential part of life in today’s digital world, with important aspects of daily life increasingly taking place online. . Removing barriers to connectivity and making our state one of the most connected in the nation has long been a priority for Governor Lamont, which is why he worked with the Legislature to designate a significant amount of funding for American Rescue. Plan Act to expand broadband access.

“DEEP’s Telecommunications and Broadband Office has been hard at work, focused on developing equitable policies and programs to bring the economic and social benefits of broadband access to Connecticut residents and businesses. I thank the Biden administration for recognizing Connecticut’s commitment to connectivity by providing this important funding to our state.

The grant comes from the United States Department of the Treasury under the Capital Projects Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act. This fund aims to deliver critical capital projects that directly enable work, education and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Comments are closed.