Texas To Get $3.3B Federal Funding for Broadband Internet Access, the Most of Any State

The $3.3 billion is coming to Texas under the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. The deadline for Texas to submit its initial proposal for spending the funds is December 27—and the last day for public comment is today (Monday, December 4).

Success in both life and business can come down to having access to high-speed broadband internet. With slow or no access, people and communities can be left behind in the “digital divide.” The federal government is aiming to help close that divide with the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program—and $3.3 billion is coming to Texas to help achieve it here.

That’s the most any state is getting from the program, which is providing $42.5 billion across the country for greater broadband internet access as a result of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Getting those billions is just the start of things, however, as Fast Company reports in a recent article., which notes that around 11.8 million U.S. households and businesses, both rural and urban, are currently estimated to be either unserved or underserved by broadband internet.

Texas must work with the U.S. government to craft plans on how the money will be spent, who the contracted internet service providers will be, and how the installation process will be implemented across the Lone Star State.

Due date for initial proposal is December 27

The due date for Texas to submit its initial proposal is December 27. According to the program’s progress dashboard as of its last refresh on November 29, Texas has completed 4 of 8 phases along with 30 other eligible entities.

Even after all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed to clear federal hurdles, it’s expected to take up to four years for the broadband installations to be completed.

If you want to share your voice in the initial proposal, today is the last day to do it: Texas’ official “commenting period” on its initial BEAD proposal ends Monday, December 4. You can review the initital proposal volumes and upload your comments by going here.

Cities and companies are stepping up, too

Public companies are stepping up to help expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities. Last week, Dallas Innovates wrote that Charter Communications is making a $1.3 broadband investment in Texas to enable the delivery of symmetrical and multi-gigabit speeds across the state—while also funding rural broadband expansion for currently unserved and underserved homes and small businesses in Texas.

In October, the city of Dallas recognized Digital Inclusion Week with activities across the city. The annual initiative hosted by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance raises awareness of digital equity and access throughout the U.S.. Hundreds of organizations, advocates, and elected officials participated to help spotlight programs to improve home internet access, provide devices, offer digital skills training, and more.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T

  • Digital Edition: Dallas Innovates Magazine 2023

    Welcome to the pulse of North Texas, where creativity and innovation converge to shape the future of business and beyond.

  • The program is designed to help the owners of forward-thinking small businesses in Tarrant County. Through the program, they can apply for federal funds via mechanisms known as the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, collectively known as America’s Seed Fund. Meet the startups selected for the first monthly cohort—and learn how other companies can apply for the program each month through November 2024.

  • Since January 2021, a record 12.2 million new business applications have been filed nationwide—with Texas alone contributing 1.1 million. Speaking at a Dallas event, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman emphasized ongoing efforts to support Americans in realizing their entrepreneurial dreams.

  • From left: Ezi Negus, Okigwe Creations; Greer Christian, PureNRG Cycle; Awah Chai, Offworld Coffee; Kimberly Matthews, Holy Rollie Pastry Shop; and moderator Tarsha Hearns, The DEC Network. [Photo: The DEC Network]

    At the recent Entrepreneur Showcase in Dallas, four emerging startups were spotlighted alongside Biden Cabinet Member Isabella Casillas Guzman, who leads the Small Business Administration, and Mark Madrid, the driving force behind SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development. “I feel like I’ve just been to a TED talk with these entrepreneurs' words of wisdom,” Madrid said at the event powered by Dallas College and The DEC Network.

  • Digital Seat said the platform aims to provide much-needed support and resources to students grappling with mental health challenges, while also offering a central hub for school administrators to directly communicate with their student body. The platform can be easily accessed with a scan of a student's ID, lanyard, or wristband.