NTIA Accepted Digital Equity Plans for U.S. Territories

NTIA approved plans from American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

NTIA Accepted Digital Equity Plans for U.S. Territories
Photo of Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Arnold I. Palacios

June 26, 2024 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration accepted Digital Equity Act plans for American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday.

The State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program allocated $150,000 for each territory to create plans addressing digital access, skills, and affordability disparities. The funding aims to ensure that all individuals and communities have the skills, technology, and resources necessary to benefit fully from the digital economy.

"This achievement underscores our dedication to closing the digital divide and ensuring all residents have access to the tools and skills necessary to thrive in the digital age,” said Northern Mariana Islands Territory Gov. Arnold I. Palacios. “Guided by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Broadband Policy and Development Office and supported by our local stakeholders and federal partners, we have crafted a plan that will enhance the foundation necessary for a vibrant digital economy.”

American Samoa Director of Commerce, Petti Matila, expressed anticipation for the implementation phase, emphasizing the importance of the allocated funds in providing residents in the territory with the necessary tools and skills to leverage broadband and internet opportunities.

“Being disconnected from a connected world is not new to us, so it is crucial that we strategically invest in our community to ensure that Virgin Islanders have access to the same digital resources, knowledge, and skills as our fellow Americans on the mainland,” said U.S. Virgin Islands Director of Digital Equity and Inclusion, Jaughna Nielsen-Bobbit. He thanked the NTIA for their expertise, time, and support in creating a blueprint to address the digital divide in the territory.

The NTIA has accepted digital equity plans from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. On March 29, the NTIA launched the $1.44 billion Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, in which U.S. territories can apply for funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to implement their plans.

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