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Biden-Harris Administration Approves Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico’s “Internet for All” Initial Proposal

Two States and Puerto Rico Requested Access to BEAD Funds Totaling Over $2 billion 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has approved Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico’s Initial Proposals for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, a cornerstone of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative.  

This approval enables Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico to request access to funding and begin implementation of the BEAD program—a major step towards closing the digital divide and meeting the President’s goal of connecting everyone in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.  

Today’s action allows the entities to request access to:  

  • Illinois: More than $1 billion
  • Oregon: More than $688 million
  • Puerto Rico: More than $334 million

“Bringing quality, affordable high-speed internet to every corner of the country is a crucial part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. In the 21st century, a reliable Internet connection is a necessity that facilitates access to jobs, healthcare, and education – and thanks to President Biden, everyone in Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico will get that access to the Internet,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “I congratulate the teams in Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico for their tremendous work to close the digital divide.”  

The BEAD program is a $42.45 billion state grant program authorized by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The states, territories and Washington D.C. were allocated funding to deploy or upgrade high-speed Internet networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service.  

"The Internet is an essential tool for not only communicating and connecting, but securing America’s economic future,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The Department of Commerce’s ‘Internet for All’ initiative is taking meaningful action to provide every American with reliable, affordable high-speed Internet. Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico’s BEAD proposals will create thousands of new jobs, connect countless communities, and write the next chapter of American prosperity.”

Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used on high-speed Internet adoption, training, and workforce development efforts, among other eligible uses.

“Today, Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico can move their Internet for All efforts from planning to action,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson. "I congratulate the Illinois, Oregon, and Puerto Rico Broadband offices for developing a strong proposal for how they will connect all of their residents to high-speed Internet service.”

BEAD-eligible entities—the 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia—are required to submit for NTIA’s approval an Initial Proposal detailing how they plan to spend their BEAD allocation to deliver high-speed Internet access to all unserved and underserved locations within their borders. All states submitted their Initial Proposals by December 27, 2023.  

NTIA provides updates on the status of all 56 states and territories’ Initial Proposal.

NTIA will continue to announce approval of Initial Proposals on a rolling basis.

One year from Initial Proposal approval, states must submit a Final Proposal that details, among other things, the outcome of the subgrantee selection process and how the state will ensure universal coverage.

Here’s what stakeholders are saying about the announcement:  


“Expanding access to reliable technology is long-overdue, and with the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, we’re doing just that,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m grateful to our federal partners at NTIA for this important funding, which will help us continue to bring broadband access to underserved homes and communities—building a stronger Illinois for all.”

“Digital equity is a matter of social justice, as working-class neighborhoods and communities of color like the ones I represent, are often the ones with the wider digital gaps,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García. “I look forward to seeing Illinois' initial proposal for the BEAD Program fully approved, as it will help ensure our state has the funds to invest in expanding access to high-speed internet.”

“Access to high-speed internet is a necessity in our 21st century economy,” said Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski. “I’m glad to see the second phase of Illinois’ Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as we continue working to connect families throughout Central and Southern Illinois to broadband.”


“Oregon is committed to ensuring that all people across our state have access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband internet,” said Governor Tina Kotek. “Today’s announcement from NTIA is an exciting development in our steadfast efforts to bridge the digital divide and ensure positive social, civic, economic, and educational outcomes for Oregonians.”

"Too many Oregonians live in communities without access to reliable high-speed internet. In the 21st century, that is unacceptable," said Congresswoman Val Hoyle. "This funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help close the digital divide by making bold investments in rural broadband, connecting Oregonians across our state to affordable and reliable high-speed internet."

Puerto Rico

“These BEAD funds will make a huge difference in Puerto Rico, since they will help us ensure that our Island has the necessary broadband infrastructure, and that all our citizens have the Internet access, tech assistance and training they need and deserve,” said Governor Pedro Pierluisi. “The Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program Capital Projects Fund will be used for initiatives to reach disadvantaged communities and remote areas and we are already hard at work to build sustainable growth and progress through an all-inclusive ambitious investment in the technology our citizens need for their future. I again thank the Biden-Harris Administration for their unwavering support.” 


Internet for All

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.

For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit


About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration    

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.

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