EAST PROVIDENCE, RI — East Providence received a $367,000 grant to expand internet access for low and moderate income residents.
The grant was part of a $1.7 million statewide package announced by Gov. Dan McKee’s administration Tuesday. It’s funded by Community Development Block Grants (CDDBG) and managed by the state’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD). Winners were selected following an RFP process operated through OHCD.
The award announcement follows shortly after President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law. The plan includes $65 billion for broadband access nationally, with the potential to deliver more than $100 million directly to Rhode Island for this purpose.
“Our Administration is committed to boosting internet connection throughout the state,” McKee said. “Today’s awards will help Rhode Islanders better access reliable and affordable high-speed internet and the valuable resources it provides. This funding will complement additional awards and investments that will be made in this area in the near future, and I thank President Biden and our federal delegation for their continued support of this important funding.”
In East Providence, the grant gave funding for East Providence for open access Wi-Fi in targeted opportunity zones in the city. The project will also support digital literacy trainings in partnership with the East Providence Housing Authority, the East Providence Library, EBCAP, the Boys and Girls Club, and the senior center as well as device access for households through the East Providence School District.