Governor Carney announces $20 million for broadband infrastructure

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, along with Chief Information Officer James Collins and Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting, announced that $20 million in CARES Act funding will be used to build out additional infrastructure across Delaware, gather strategic data through a statewide speed survey, and acquire equipment and services for families in financial need.

The state’s Chief Information Officer says, back in March, he described this time as a moment of reckoning that reliable internet access is essential. “At this stage in 2020, broadband is essential. It’s as essential as any other public utility like water and electric coming into our home,” says James Collins, the Chief Information Officer for Delaware.

In addition, fifteen towers in the current phase of the Rural Wireless Broadband Initiative in Kent and Sussex Counties will be finished about four months ahead of schedule. The project received a boost of $566,000 through the Delaware Department of Education’s CARES Act funds to fast-track reaching more students in underserved areas in need of high-speed broadband to use for remote learning during COVID-19. In combination with the initial $2 million investment in state funding, the Rural Wireless Broadband Initiative is expected to serve more than 1,500 customers in rural areas and has the capacity to expand.

“Over the last two years, Delaware has worked to eliminate internet deserts and make high-speed internet a reality for all Delawareans,” said Governor Carney. “Now more than ever, we know how essential reliable internet is for daily life. These funds will help us build additional broadband infrastructure, identify areas where we need to improve internet speeds, and eliminate barriers so that Delaware families can have quality internet— whether it’s for remote learning, working, or connecting with family.”

The state will also use CARES Act funds to cover equipment installation and broadband service for students from low-income households statewide for remote or hybrid learning purposes.

For more information on Delaware’s broadband efforts, click here.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware, Local News