Arizona Commerce Authority 5-Year Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
Posted by Austin Debey on September 8, 2023
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that Arizona would receive nearly $1 billion in federal funding for high-speed internet improvements. The funds are part of a $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program that was part of bipartisan infrastructure legislation that was passed by Congress in 2021.
In Arizona, the $993.1 million share of the BEAD will be managed by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). Since then, the ACA has developed a five year action plan to allocated the funds with the goal to achieve the following:
- Provide universal connectivity to unserved and underserved areas and ensure high speed internet access is available to every household, business, anchor institution, Tribal Nations and community in Arizona.
- Promote digital equity and inclusion through increased digital skills and access to devices for all Arizona residents including Tribal Nations and their members.
- Create a 21st Century workforce so Arizonans and Tribal Nations can succeed in the rapidly evolving job market where the state creates, grows and attracts high wage businesses to increase economic development.
- Coordinate broadband infrastructure investments with investments in
healthcare, education, public safety, workforce and economic development statewide and on tribal lands.
- Promote broadband service pricing that is affordable to all Arizonans including Tribal Nations and their members.