Sinema Highlights Need to Implement Transformative Broadband Infrastructure Funds Effectively and Efficiently

Dec 19, 2022

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Sinema’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law invests $65 billion to deploy high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities – including tribal and rural areas – in Arizona and across the country

WASHINGTON – In a Senate Communications, Media, and Broadband Subcommittee hearing, Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema called on Congress to work with stakeholders across the country to implement her bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law’s historic investments in broadband deployment, affordability, accessibility, and digital inclusion to ensure all Arizonans have high-speed broadband.
“Passing our bipartisan infrastructure law last year was a watershed moment for broadband connectivity across the United States – but just passing the law isn’t enough. Congress must work with stakeholders across our nation to finally close the digital divide by efficiently and effectively implementing the historic broadband investments we secured in our bipartisan infrastructure law,” said Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.

Sinema questioned witnesses about streamlining permitting approvals by federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to expedite broadband deployment projects, which can currently take years to approve. Sinema also emphasized the importance of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which her bipartisan infrastructure law bolsters to help ensure more tribal communities have fast, affordable broadband access.
Sinema’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law makes historic and sweeping investments in repairing and upgrading America’s critical infrastructure, including $65 billion to deploy high-speed broadband, expand broadband internet access, and help families afford broadband service. Specifically, Sinema’s law invests over $14 billion to make internet more affordable and requires internet providers to offer a low-cost option to participate in federal broadband deployment funding. Following passage of the infrastructure law, the Federal Communications Commission established the Affordable Connectivity Program using the funding Sinema secured to help Arizonans access affordable internet. The program provides eligible families $30 a month toward their internet bills and $75 a month toward internet service in tribal areas.
Through Sinema’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law, at least $100 million will be invested in Arizona to connect communities across the state to high-speed internet through broadband infrastructure improvements. Through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, the Gila River Indian Community received a $4.4 million grant to assist in telehealth expansion, distance learning opportunities, affordable broadband service, and economic growth, and the Hopi Tribe received a $13.8 million grant to install fiber connecting over one thousand unserved Native American households, plus 18 businesses and 6 community anchor institutions.