The distribution of $930 million for 35 broadband construction projects across the United States has been announced by the Biden administration. These projects aim to expand the “middle-mile” infrastructure, connecting large regional fiber networks to local networks that serve homes and businesses.
The $930 million allocation is part of the larger $45 billion “Internet for All” initiative, which also includes the $42.5 billion Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment program. The latter is expected to be awarded to states later this month.
The middle-mile projects encompass various endeavors, such as laying down fiber in agricultural areas, establishing undersea routes to Hawaii, and extending connectivity to remote desert regions near military bases in the West. Notable examples include a 431-mile open-access network in eastern Nevada, which will provide internet access to Nellis Air Force Base, and a project in Montana that will install 137 miles of fiber across a 13,000-square-mile area. Additionally, a power cooperative serving dairy-producing regions in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will receive funding to upgrade 240 miles of fiber for high-speed service, totaling nearly $15 million.
The middle-mile funding, along with the broader Internet for All program, was established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1.2 trillion legislation signed by President Joe Biden in late 2021. This act allocated a total of $65 billion to broadband funds, representing the largest federal investment in high-speed internet to date.