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2.1 million in federal funding available for Am Samoa to increase internet access

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo

WASHINGTON — The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on Friday announced that American Samoa can apply to receive $2,100,000 to empower individuals and communities with the tools, skills, and opportunities they need to benefit from meaningful access to high-speed Internet.    

As part of the "Internet for All" initiative, a key component of President Joe Biden’s "Investing in America" agenda, NTIA announced the availability of more than $800 million nationally in funding from the Digital Equity Act’s State Capacity Program.  

"President Biden is committed to ensuring everyone in American Samoa and across America has access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "Commerce’s work building high-speed Internet infrastructure is only part of the equation. Families in American Samoa need the tools and skills required to make the most of that Internet connection, and that’s the $2.1 million opportunity we’re announcing today. President Biden’s digital equity initiative will make the promise of the Internet come alive for everyone in American Samoa, no matter where they live or what their background is."  

States, territories, and Native entities will use this funding to begin implementation of their digital equity plans. American Samoa intends to use its funding to help ensure that all American Samoans have access to affordable, inclusive, accessible and secure resources and opportunities to become an effective part of the digital global village. 

Through community collaboration, these digital equity plans outline a state or territory’s approach to empowering communities with equitable access and opportunities to adopt a high-speed Internet connection and develop essential digital skills to fully participate in society and the digital economy.    

The funding allocation was calculated based on a formula defined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The formula takes into account the relative population of the state (50%), the relative size of the covered populations residing in the state (25%), and the comparative lack of availability and adoption of broadband (25%).