Charleston, WV (WOAY) – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) introduced the Grant to Rapidly Invest and Deploy Broadband or GRID Broadband Act today. The GRID Broadband Act would provide a new federal cost share to invest in a nationwide middle mile backbone along the nation’s existing electricity grid.
The bipartisan proposal aims to help provide affordable high-speed internet options to 120 million American homes and improve the resiliency of America’s electrical grid. Additionally, the Senators expect the investment to create thousands of skilled jobs while enhancing the capacity of critical networks and reducing costs.
Under the GRID Broadband Act, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will issue competitive cost-shared federal grants to encourage the development of a secure, nationwide broadband system on existing electricity grid infrastructure.
Recipients of GRID Broadband awards must use the funding to improve their electrical grid infrastructure’s cybersecurity and smart grid technology. Additionally, grant recipients must cover at least half of the project costs. Qualifying not-for-profit utilities and Native entities providing access to underserved and unserved communities are exempt from covering project costs.