All 50 states have digital equity plans approved by NTIA

States and territories have met a key requirement to receive grant funds from the $2.75 billion Digital Equity Act.
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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Friday announced it’s accepted digital equity plans for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

States and territories submitted plans to qualify for funding through three grant programs totaling $2.75 billion: the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.

The grants are meant to promote digital equity and inclusion by improving digital access, residents’ digital skills and the affordability of household internet services. The grants were created through the Digital Equity Act in the 2021 infrastructure bill and President Joe Biden’s “Internet for All” initiative. 

The plans, created with funds from the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, are designed to be unique to each state’s needs in addressing residents’ digital access, skills and ability to afford internet services.


Colorado was one of the latest states to have its plan approved by the NTIA. Its plan is focused on improving digital inclusion for low-income households, aging populations, incarcerated individuals, veterans, people with disabilities, those who do not speak English as their first language, racial and ethnic minorities and rural communities, according to the state’s plan.

According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the state is aiming to sustain its digital inclusion efforts after funding dries up by forming coalitions consisting of people connected with local governments, churches, schools, health care providers and other community organizations. These coalitions plan to work in coordination with the state to improve digital inclusion in their communities by launching technology classes, hiring digital navigators and holding classes.

Colorado is planning to improve the affordability of home internet services, build residents’ digital and cybersecurity skills. The state is also considering creating a statewide network that refurbishes devices, provides technical support and recycles electronics. 

The NTIA last month announced it would allocate $811 million to states, territories and tribal nations for their digital equity initiatives, the first installment of the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Act’s State Digital Equity Capacity Program.

In the next few months, NTIA is set to launch the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program. The $1.25 billion program is designed to make funds available to a variety of entities, including tribes, nonprofits, community groups, local educational agencies and workforce development organizations.

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