Broadband Education and Training Initiative Helps States Increase High-Speed Internet Access

Peer-to-peer learning network offers research, guidance for government leaders

Technical Broadband Assistance to States

This page was updated on April 26, 2022, to reflect the addition of four states and Puerto Rico to the broadband education and training initiative. 

As unprecedented broadband funding flows to states as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, delivering high-speed internet access to all Americans has never been more achievable. But the opportunity before state leaders comes with significant challenges. Policymakers must establish or expand broadband programs, train staff, and navigate local priorities, all while adhering to federal requirements.

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ broadband education and training initiative (BETI), launched in August 2021, provides no-cost support to help states make the most of historic increases in state and federal funding. BETI is built on a foundation of Pew research highlighting a set of effective strategies and provides staff training, facilitated expert and peer-to-peer engagement, and technical assistance on a wide range of topics, from state broadband program design to data collection.

The resources and guidance collected here will help states identify and adopt evidence-based strategies to effectively administer federal funds, accelerating the nation’s progress toward universal, affordable broadband connectivity.

To join or learn more about BETI, please email Jake Varn at [email protected].

OUR WORK

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Agenda for America

Resources for federal, state, and local decision-makers

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.

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Fact Sheet

3 Key Components to Effective State Broadband Programs

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Fact Sheet

States throughout the country have created programs to expand broadband connectivity for their residents. And although the configuration of these programs varies, research has indicated that the most successful ones include the same core components: a state-level broadband office with full-time staff, systems to support local and regional planning and technical assistance, and well-funded competitive grant programs for internet service providers, such as telephone and cable companies, wireless internet service providers, electric cooperatives, and municipal utilities

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Article

State Strategies for Improving Broadband Access

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States differ in how they manage broadband deployment and which agencies or offices they task with identifying challenges, charting goals, and encouraging investment. Some states have a centralized office responsible for managing or coordinating broadband efforts. In others, multiple agencies have jurisdiction over broadband. More than half of states have established dedicated funds to support deployment of high-speed internet, and many have developed goals, plans, and maps for expansion of access.