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Digital Equity

New Hampshire’s State Digital Equity Plan and Development Process

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which resulted in awards to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for the purpose of developing State Digital Equity Plans. Through these Plans, awardees had to, among other things, identify barriers to broadband access and adoption and develop strategies for overcoming those barriers.

The State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program is part of the larger State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, which  has allocated a total of $1.44 billion over five fiscal years to states, territories, and Tribal entities for the purpose of implementing their approved State Digital Equity Plans. New Hampshire has been allocated $4.9 million. The Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program funding is provided to implement the plans set forth in the State’s Digital Equity Plan and promote digital inclusion activities, per the Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program NOFO.

In order to receive additional funding and implement all or part of its plan, the State, through the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) completed its State Digital Equity Plan as described in Section 60304(c) of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, Public Law 117-58, 135 Stat. 429 (November 15, 2021) (Infrastructure Act or Act; also frequently referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), which required drafting the plan, receiving public comment on the plan, and then receiving feedback and eventual approval of that plan by the NTIA.

BEA  partnered with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension to craft the State’s plan, which  involved months of stakeholder engagement, research, and data collection. We are pleased to announce the NTIA approval of New Hampshire’s State Digital Equity Plan.

BEA is currently in the application phase for the Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and will provide updates when available.