A new infusion of funds will support communities nationwide with digital access, tools and skills. In April, the Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced some $811 million in digital equity funding for states, territories, and Native entities.

This funding is the second of three rounds of funding included in the $2.75 billion External LinkDigital Equity Act, a bipartisan infrastructure law designed to ensure everyone has affordable home broadband, along with the skills and devices needed to participate in today’s digital economy.

The Digital Equity Act consists of three funding programs: 1) the $60 million State Planning Grant Program; 2) the $1.44 billion State Capacity Grant Program; and 3) the $1.25 billion Competitive Grant Program.

Digital equity plans are the foundation for spending

In 2022, NTIA began awarding $60 million to states and territories to develop their digital equity plans. The purpose of the digital equity plans was to:

  • Identify the barriers and challenges to accessing and using digital resources.
  • Establish measurable objectives for promoting access to, and meaningful use of broadband.
  • Advance digital skills.

The program guidelines required significant community engagement to ensure plans were well-informed by communities. To support this process, in 2022-2023 the Kansas City Fed led a External Linknational effort to host two-day workshops for the state employees tasked with developing the digital equity plans.

Since then, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have submitted their digital equity plans to NTIA. Each plan is available for review on External LinkNTIA’s website.

Tenth Districts states to receive more than $66 million in capacity grants

Fast forward to the recent announcement of $811 million in awards under the State Capacity Grant Program, a first round of awards under the program to states and territories to start implementation of the digital equity plans.

According to the NTIA, the following Tenth District states received about $66.4 million:


Marisa Martinez

Community Development Advisor

Marisa Martinez is a community development advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and works out of the Kansas City Office.

A new member of the community development t…