Massachusetts will receive $147 million from the national Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program overseen by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The program will use $42 billion in federal funds to expand high-speed internet nationwide, including in Massachusetts and the other 49 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and other federal territories.
In Massachusetts, funding will be deployed through a five-year action plan and proposal that the Massachusetts Broadband Institute is developing through ongoing engagement with the Massachusetts Broadband and Digital Equity Working Group, the recent statewide Broadband & Digital Equity Summit on June 13, and the statewide Digital Equity survey that seeks input from Massachusetts residents about their barriers to internet access, affordability, and adoption. The plan and proposal are due to the federal government later this year.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is a member of the Digital Equity Working Group and is working to ensure older adults are included in the plan. As part of that effort, the Collaborative encourages stakeholders and communities supporting digital equity among older adults to complete this survey that will inform the plan and add any programs or initiatives to an asset inventory also being collected for the same purpose.