Here's what you need to know about digital equity



NTIA officials released the Notice of Funding Opportunity, NOFO, for the second digital equity program in the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant program in late March.

Authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, the State Digital Equity Act includes three funding programs:

NoFo Image
  • $60 million for State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program
  • $1.44 billion for State Digital Equity Capacity Program
  • $1.25 billion for Competitive Grant Program


What states must know 

The first funding program, the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, was announced in 2022. All 50 U.S. states, territories and tribal governments submitted their plans by July 12, 2022, marking the first time that all states had a plan to address digital equity

Louisiana and Virginia, both Ready customers, were among the first states to have its Digital Equity plans approved. 

This funding program provides funds to U.S. states, territories and tribal communities to implement their digital equity plans established previously under the State Digital Equity Planning Program. This program also establishes a competitive process to make funding from both programs available for use in digital equity and inclusion activities. 

Under this program, U.S. states, territories and tribal communities will have $840 million available to implement their digital equity plans. 

U.S. states and Puerto Rico must have their applications submitted to the NTIA by May 28, 2024. U.S. territories, besides Puerto Rico, must have their applications submitted by July 31, 2024. 
Tribal governments will be able to submit applications starting on September 25, 2024 and must have applications submitted by February 7, 2025



What states can do to stay ahead 

Grantors, throughout the application process, must operate by the principles of a data-driven state broadband office

Digital equity asset maps in conjunction with Ready’s Grantor platform can be a powerful step to ensure broad participation in this process. 

Using the Ready platform, grantors can utilize geospatial tools to visualize areas of need and define project areas. Ready’s Performance Test and Survey tools will allow grantors to collect data from a wide range of communities to properly determine where resources should be disbursed. State broadband offices can also utilize Ready Automated Reporting and Compliance to minimize their team’s value time being spent on regulatory and compliance needs. 

State broadband offices have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to narrow the digital divide and uplift their communities. There will never be another chance like this, and state broadband leaders must have the best tools at their disposal to make data-informed decisions that allow them to make the most effective use of their funding allocations, and get their communities the broadband they need. 

There’s no time to waste.

Get Ready to Grow.