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6.2.23 – Magnolia Tribune

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has dispersed $10 billion in grant funding throughout the nation. Mississippi will receive $151.4 million of that for increasing broadband service.

The BEAM office is overseeing all broadband expansion initiatives in the state and will administer the competitive grant program.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has dispersed $10 billion in grant funding throughout the nation. Mississippi will receive $151.4 million of that for increasing broadband service.

The intent of the grant funding is to continue increasing broadband access across the state. It will specifically impact nearly 35,000 homes in Mississippi that do not have access to high-speed internet.

The office of Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi, or BEAM, will disperse the funds through a competitive grant program intended for internet service providers.

According to the Treasury Department, the state plan will support additional broadband infrastructure that will deliver more reliable internet service to residents. This service must meet or exceed download and upload speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). This is the speed needed for a home with multiple internet users.

Those receiving funds will be required to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP ensures that residents can afford the broadband with a discount of up to $30 per month.

The FCC expects roughly 48 million families, or 40% of the population would be eligible for this discount.

“The pandemic upended life as we knew it and exposed the stark inequity in access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet in communities across the country, including rural, Tribal, and other underrepresented communities,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “This funding is a key piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to increase access to high-speed internet for millions of Americans and provide more opportunities to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy.”

The grant program will contain three categories of disbursement:

Category 1 – Broadband Infrastructure ($116.4 million): Awards in this category will help fund large-scale projects designed to serve large numbers of targeted addresses. Recipients of Category 1 awards must provide matching funds of at least 20%.

Category 2 – Line Extension & Deployment ($20 million): Line Extension & Deployment grants will be used to help fund extensions of existing networks that can be constructed quickly and offer at least 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. Recipients in this category will be required to provide a match of at least $500 per address.

Category 3 – ARPA Broadband Communities ($15 million): This category promotes public and private partnership and requires service providers to partner with a county, municipality, or an affiliated organization that dedicates a portion of its ARPA funds or some other public funding to the project. Recipients of awards in this category will be required to match at least 50% of the award amount, only a portion of which need to be from the public entity’s ARPA funds.

All funding must be awarded, and projects completed by December 31, 2026, to stay in compliance with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

About BEAM

The Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM) office was created by the Mississippi Legislature in 2022. Shortly after, Governor Tate Reeves appointed then-Public Utility Staff Executive Director Sally Doty, a former state senator, as director of BEAM.

“We’re expanding broadband to every corner of our state,” said Governor Reeves. “Mississippi is attracting the jobs of tomorrow by improving our state’s connectivity today. We’ll continue working hard to ensure that every Mississippian has access to broadband, regardless of their zip code.”

In 2020, the Public Utilities Staff administered $75 million in CARES Act funding for broadband grant programs. These were primarily for Electric Power Associations and cooperatives. In February of 2022, the staff was awarded an additional $32 million for ten grant projects which were transferred to BEAM.



Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: sarah@magnoliatribune.com