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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Puerto Rico’s digital equity plan gains federal approval

By The Star Staff

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has accepted Puerto Rico’s digital equity plan, according to a statement issued Thursday.

The Digital Equity Act, part of the Internet for All initiative and a piece of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs that promote digital equity and inclusion. The program aims to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of the digital economy.

Using $781,987 from the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, Puerto Rico created a plan to address disparities in digital access, skills and affordability across the island.

States and territories are continuing to submit their plans for the NTIA’s acceptance, and the NTIA will accept plans on a rolling basis. In the coming months, the NTIA will launch the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contains a $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed internet access in communities across the U.S. The NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in U.S. communities.

Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands, according to the statement.

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