The passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021 has the potential to connect millions of Americans far beyond the conventional methods of infrastructure (roads, highways and bridges). With more than $50 billion dedicated to expanding broadband Internet access, it’ll also be connecting them to the worldwide web.
Roughly 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure to provide minimally acceptable speeds. The vast majority of these areas are situated in rural parts of the country. Additionally, low-income residents across all regions can’t get quality access simply due to a lack of financial resources. This means millions miss out on economic opportunity, educational options and healthcare access.
How the Infrastructure Bill Addresses the Digital Divide
To move the needle on Internet access, the bill is addressing the digital divide head-on with a few different initiatives:
- $42.5 billion will be used in grants to states for broadband projects, which can range from network development to data collection to determine the areas that lack service.
- $14.2 billion is resourced to provide $30-a-month vouchers for low-income Americans to pay for Internet services.
- $2.75 billion is dedicated to digital inclusion and equity projects, such as improving digital literacy and online skills for seniors.
Thanks to this bill, communities like yours have more available funds to invest in Internet initiatives. The funds could help jumpstart a more connected, tech-forward community that can open up a world of economic, educational and public wellbeing opportunities for your residents.
The UniCity Team is Your Partner
The UniCity team at Cincinnati Bell is here to be your partner through it all. We’ve been investing in expanded Internet access across communities well before this bill ever hit the legislative circuits and are proven leaders in community connectivity. Recently, we’ve:
- Invested $250 million in public-private partnerships to help expand access to local communities
- Brought Internet access to Village of Lockland and Lockland School District amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
- We are projected to connect nearly 4,000 homes to broadband Internet in Boone County, where expanded access is a priority for local government.
- Partnered with Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to bring free high-speed Internet to more than 1,200 residents living in CMHA properties.
See how else we’re championing greater connections in our communities. Together, we can reimagine the possibilities for our people and our businesses in the places we call home.
The importance of connectivity within the Oregon District cannot be overstated, Cincinnati Bell’s work with us improves our ability to connect with each other and with the broader Dayton community.Kyle Babirad
Oregon District Business Association
As a result of this partnership, more of our youth will have access to educational tools, and more of our friends and neighbors will have access to training, jobs, and improved healthcare.Tom Simpson
Chief Operating Officer
The ‘lighting up’ of our Village via Wi-Fi access will not only help in educating the children of our Village but will also create opportunities for our residents.Mark Mason Sr.
Village of Lockland