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US Dept. of Commerce extends ‘Internet for All’ program deadline

Considering President Biden’s declaration of emergency for Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Fiona, Don Graves deputy secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information at the US Department of Commerce, has temporarily waived the deadline for eligible entities to apply for funding from NTIA’s Middle Mile Grant Program for projects that would build high-speed Internet infrastructure in Puerto Rico.

The new deadline for such applications is Nov. 1, 2022.

“The Biden Administration remains committed to helping the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild and stands ready to offer as much assistance as possible. This includes ensuring that Hurricane Fiona does not prevent businesses, municipal governments, and other entities in Puerto Rico from participating in President Biden’s ‘Internet for All’ initiative,” he said.

“I applaud Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson for moving quickly to extend the Sept. 30th deadline for entities in Puerto Rico to apply for the $1 billion ‘Middle Mile’ grant program. This action gives applicants an extra month to complete their applications so that they can focus on restoring connectivity and caring for their families and neighbors who have been impacted by the storm,” Graves said.

“The Department will continue to work with our colleagues across the federal government to find other ways to support the immediate needs of citizens and recognize the hardship the hurricane has put on the island,” he added.

In May, the Biden-Harris administration launched the $45 billion “Internet for All” initiative “to provide affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for everyone in America by the end of the decade.”

The initiative is being administered and implemented by the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The programs will build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide necessary technology to ensure that everyone has the access and skills they need, the government stated.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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