The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $930,021,354.34 to expand middle mile high-speed Internet infrastructure across 35 states and Puerto Rico. The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program invests in projects that build regional networks that connect to national Internet networks. Middle mile Internet infrastructure carries large amounts of data over long distances, increases capacity to local networks, boosts network resiliency, lowers the cost of bringing high-speed Internet service to unconnected households, and helps connect unserved regions to the Internet backbone. Details about the new Middle Mile grants are as follows:
- The middle mile projects will cover over 350 counties across 35 states and Puerto Rico.
- The projects will deploy over 12,000 miles of new fiber that will pass within 1,000 feet of 6,961 community anchor institutions.
- All projects use future-proof fiber as the primary technology.
- Awardees are investing an additional $848.46 million of outside match funding into the projects.
- Grants span from $2.7 million to $88.8 million, with an average award amount of $26.6 million.