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Mayor Bowser Announces District to Receive $100.6 Million in BEAD Grants to Fund Digital Access and Training

Thursday, May 9, 2024
Funding Will Be Used to Increase Internet Access and Provide Digital Literacy Training and Workforce Development Opportunities

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded the District over $100 million in federal funds through the Volume II Initial Proposal under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.
“By ensuring District residents, businesses, and institutions have access to affordable, high-speed internet – and supporting them with trainings on digital literacy and workforce development – we can give more people in the District a fair shot, and remain a leader in tech careers, talent, and innovation,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are grateful for the support and partnership of the Biden-Harris Administration for their focus on digital equity so that together we can break down barriers and close the digital divide.” 

OCTO’s DC State Broadband and Digital Equity Office (SBDEO) will utilize the $100.6 million in BEAD funding in order to increase internet access to residents as well as provide beginner-to-advanced digital literacy training and high-value workforce development training – with a focus on Wards 5, 7, and 8. Through these initiatives, the District is strengthening its training-to-career pipeline for residents, further pushing forward the District’s status as a tech leader.
“DC is a hub for technology and innovation,” said Interim Chief Technology Officer Stephen Miller. “And we want to be able to properly train and connect our residents to opportunities with the leading tech companies that we have here in Washington, DC.”

The Bowser Administration has defined four goals to guide the actions of last-mile broadband deployment and digital equity:

  • Make high-quality, affordable, high-speed internet accessible to all residents – whether in homes or local community anchors – and drive the equitable adoption of internet service.
  • Provide sustainable, low-cost, or no-cost devices and IT support, enabling applications to the residents who need it most.
  • Create navigable pathways for DC residents across the spectrum of digital literacy and digital skills.
  • Use increased access to broadband, devices, and digital skills to set up strategic partnerships and initiatives with DC agencies to achieve goals related to economic development, the workforce, and health outcomes. 

View DC's State Digital Equity plan at s.dc.gov/techtogether.
Through strategic investments that support local entrepreneurs and make DC an attractive place to open and grow a business, Washington, DC has become a top city for tech and has widely been recognized as a leader in technology careers and talent, including: 

  • #1 Hub for Tech Careers (Forbes, 2024) 
  • #1 Most Innovative State (Wallet Hub, 2024) 
  • A Hotspot for New AI Jobs (Axios, 2024) 
  • #4 Top Tech Talent Market U.S. & Canada (CBRE, 2023) 
  • #2 Best US City for Women in Tech (SmartAsset, 2022)

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