Governor Carney, Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long, United States Senator Carper and United States Representative Blunt Rochester announce $ 110 million investment in universal broadband

September 16, 2021

Delaware aims to be the first state to reach every home and business with wired broadband broadband service

Investment in broadband infrastructure is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted by President Joe Biden

BRIDGEVILLE, Del. – Governor John Carney, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, United States Senator Tom Carper, United States Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, members of the General Assembly and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) on Thursday announced a $ 110 million investment to cover every “last mile” of Delaware with high-speed wired broadband Internet service.

Investing in broadband infrastructure – funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed in law the 11th of March by President Joe Biden – aims to make Delaware the first state to provide wired broadband access to every home and business in Delaware.

“Delawaren rely on stable internet connections to apply for jobs, help their children with homework, work from home or continue their education online,” said Governor Carney. “This significant investment will recognize this reality and ensure that all Delaware families have access to high-speed broadband service. We know this is more important than ever after the lessons we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to thank the Delaware federal delegation for voting in favor of approving the American Rescue Plan Act and President Joe Biden for enacting this important legislation.

Currently, approximately 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses do not have access to wired broadband broadband service. The broadband infrastructure project announced Thursday will target investments in areas currently unserved or underserved, lacking a wired connection, and will prioritize projects that achieve “last mile” connections for households and businesses.

Click here to display maps of the areas most in need of expanding broadband networks across Delaware.

“Access to broadband is an infrastructure. Just like when our roads, bridges and railways are broken, we fix them and we need to do the same for our broadband access and fill those gaps, ”said Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “This essential investment by our federal government is a unique opportunity for us to make a real difference and make significant investments. I am excited about the opportunity to truly put our state in a strong position to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Photo of the governor’s office

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown how Americans depend on the Internet for school, running a business, or just for health care. Unfortunately, too many people in the first state do not have access to a reliable internet connection, ”said US Senator Tom Carper. “When our Congressional delegation was working on the US bailout, we knew we had to provide strong and flexible funding to states to meet their own unique needs. I am so happy that the state is using US bailout funds to bridge this digital divide, and I applaud Governor Carney’s leadership in tackling this pandemic and Delaware’s progress. ”

“Reliable high-speed internet access is becoming increasingly essential for success in the 21st century,” said US Senator Chris Coons, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Today’s news will connect thousands of people in Delaware to broadband service. With the current challenges of COVID-19, we have especially felt the pressure associated with an unreliable internet in our state. Whether it’s connecting kids to schools, the elderly to doctors, or rural farmers to cutting-edge agricultural data, this $ 110 million investment in federal funds will expand broadband availability, increase internet speeds and make Delaware one of the most connected countries. States in America.

“Access to affordable and reliable broadband has been an issue for students, families, and businesses in Delaware for years, especially those in the state’s most rural and urban areas,” said we Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the critical need for broadband broadband service as Delawaren have found themselves more than ever learning, working and educating from home. With $ 110 million secured thanks to the US bailout that I voted on in March, Delaware will now be able to invest in major updates to our broadband infrastructure in areas that need it most. .

“Many local officials have long said that more investment needs to be made in broadband connectivity,” said State Senator Brian Pettyjohn. “As the events of the past year painfully demonstrated, the infrastructure required to support businesses, distance learning and other vital activities in the modern world is simply not in place. This investment will make our communities more competitive in a global economy, allow our students to have equal access to information for learning, and provide improvements in health, safety and security, even in the most vulnerable areas. most remote from our state. “

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear how integral broadband is to modern life,” said State Senator Nicole Poore, Chairman of the Joint Capital Improvement Committee. “The Delawaren have logged in for work, school, doctor’s visits and just to spend a few minutes with loved ones. Others have turned to broadband internet to keep their businesses going. Here in the 21st century, we cannot afford that entire cities and communities are without this vital service, and I commend Governor John Carney for delivering on his promise to close the remaining gaps in broadband service. for our rural communities.

“Building on our previous investments in fiber and wireless broadband, our goal is to be the first state to provide wired internet to every home and business in Delaware,” said CIO Jason Clarke. “Working with our state-owned Internet service providers to provide a reliable and scalable solution will enable Delaware to meet current and future demands for broadband. ”

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