WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury said on Monday it had approved more than $228 million in funding for high-speed internet projects in New York state from the COVID-era American Rescue Plan’s $10 billion Capital Projects Fund, aimed at connecting rural and underserved communities.
With Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary possibly cementing former president Donald Trump as the inevitable Republican nominee, the Biden administration is gearing up to sell voters on the tangible results of its economic policies, including the $1.9 trillion in COVID relief funding approved by Democrats in Congress.
The funds were awarded to New York’s Municipal Infrastructure Program, which provides competitive grants to local governments and internet service providers in an effort to build “last-mile” high-speed internet connections to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in underserved and rural communities.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to head to Chicago and Milwaukee later this week to make the case that the investments from Biden’s COVID relief, infrastructure, semiconductor and clean energy legislation are delivering more economic benefits than Trump’s 2017 tax cuts did.
“This $228 million in federal funding, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which I was proud to help pass in Congress, will allow our state to take a big step toward closing the digital divide and ensuring reliable internet access for New Yorkers in underserved communities,” said Representative Nydia Velazquez, a New York City Democrat.
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The Treasury has approved over $9 billion in Capital Projects Fund awards since June, 2022, including $100 million last year for New York to connect over 100,000 low-income housing units to high-speed infrastructure. The department said states estimate that the funding so far will provide expanded internet access to over 2 million locations.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Stephen Coates)