US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
As One of the Authors of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Senator Rosen Secured A Key Provision to Fund Middle Mile Broadband Projects & Connect More People to High-Speed Internet
WASHINGTON, DC – Beginning this month and until September 30, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is accepting applications for the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program created by U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). This is a $1 billion program that Senator Rosen included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law she helped write and pass to provide grants to public entities and non-profits for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of middle mile broadband infrastructure. The program Rosen added to the infrastructure law is based on her Middle Mile Broadband Deployment Act.
“Many communities in Nevada and across our nation lack reliable, affordable high-speed internet access,” said Senator Rosen. “I am thrilled that the Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, based on my bipartisan legislation, is now accepting applications. This grant program will help expand local broadband access to underserved and rural communities by connecting carriers to local networks and community institutions.”
Public entities and nonprofits interested in applying can submit an application here by Friday, September 30, 2022 at 8:59 pm PT/11:59 pm ET.
Much of the national debate around broadband access has focused on connecting residences to the internet, what is known as connecting the “last-mile.” There have been fewer conversations on the federal level about “middle-mile.” Middle-mile is the section of a network that connects the backbone of the internet to a local connection site, which often includes anchor institutions such as schools, libraries, or government offices. Middle-mile networks bring data to and from an internet backbone to local networks. Last-mile connections create links between those local networks to the end-users, which includes households and businesses.
Last-mile connectivity depends on solid middle-mile infrastructure to connect a local community to the outside world. These networks can provide savings that incentivize last-mile providers to build in remote areas. By ensuring nondiscriminatory or “open-access” to these networks, internet service providers, including co-ops and rural carriers, can reduce their capital expenditures and pass the savings to their customers. These networks also provide for network resiliency, as alternative paths can prevent points of failure, allowing service providers to divert traffic in case of an outage.