BOISE, Idaho (KIFI)— The Idaho Department of Commerce granted $38,361,250 to complete 83 broadband expansion projects in Idaho through the Idaho Broadband Grant.
The grant funded projects across Idaho improved broadband infrastructure and service for Idaho households, businesses, libraries, healthcare clinics, hospital facilities, public safety organizations and local governments. Expanding broadband service and speeds in rural Idaho was prioritized.
“Our historic broadband investments mean students and families across Idaho will have the tools they need to succeed. First responders will have the connection and communication they need to do their jobs, and healthcare providers can expand their utilization of telemedicine. The benefits of these completed projects are just the beginning of many more in Idaho,” Governor Brad Little said.
Of the 83 projects funded, 59 projects — totaling more than $28 million — funded improvements or expanded service to more than 30,000 households throughout Idaho. Public safety and local government service accounted for 23 projects totaling $10.2 million. There was one telehealth project for $41,767.
“Led by Governor Little and the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee, the State of Idaho used the unique opportunity provided by the CARES Act to improve broadband service for unserved or underserved areas across Idaho,” said Tom Kealey, Idaho Department of Commerce Director. “These completed infrastructure investments will make a significant difference for Idaho residents, families, businesses and local organizations as we continue to navigate increased distance learning, teleworking and telehealth needs.”
The Idaho Broadband Grant was funded and approved by the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) to utilize CARES Act funds to meet COVID-19 emergency criteria.