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USVI to get $2.1 million for ‘digital equity in Internet for all’ push

USVI to get $2.1 million for 'digital equity in Internet for all' push

WASHINGTON — The National Telecommunications and Information Administration said this week that the U.S. Virgin Islands is now eligible to apply for $2.1 million, “to empower individuals and communities with the tools, skills and opportunities they need to benefit from meaningful access to high-speed internet.”

The pool of funds is part of more than $800 million in national funding from the Digital Equity Act’s State Capacity Program.

“President Biden is committed to ensuring everyone in the U.S. Virgin Islands…has access to affordable reliable high-speed internet service,” said Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce. As she explained, the work being done in building out high-speed infrastructure is only one aspect of a comprehensive solution. “Families in the Virgin Islands need the tools and skills required to make the most of that internet connection,” she explained. “That’s the $2.1 million opportunity we’re announcing today.”

With the funding, which is part of the “Internet for All” initiative under the president’s “Investing in America” agenda, Raimondo says that the thrust towards digital equity “will make the promise of the Internet come alive for everyone, no matter where they live or what their background is.”

The money will be used to roll out implementation of the territory’s digital equity plan, which is intended to “create a more digitally resilient territory, powered by a highly skilled workforce and knowledge-based economy,” according to the NTIA announcement.

The amount of funding that was allocated to the USVI was calculated using a formula that takes into account the relative population overall, the relative size of the covered populations, and the comparative lack of availability and adoption of broadband. 

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