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City of Seattle receives nearly $400,000 in federal funds to support high-speed internet

The City of Seattle received $393,200 to help connect Seattle residents to reliable, affordable high-speed internet. The funding stems from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program. Connecting all communities across the United States to high-speed internet is central to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out by improving our nation’s infrastructure.

“High-speed internet is essential for Seattle residents live, work, and learn,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Improving digital equity is an issue that has been critical to our communities for decades, which is why we’ve championed solutions to close the gap and support those in need. Thanks to federal support and strong local partnerships we are continuing to make great strides in connecting communities who have historically been left behind.”

The City’s Digital Equity Program will coordinate outreach efforts by partnering with community-based organizations with Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin language and cultural expertise. Enrollment clinics will be set up in Seattle neighborhoods later this year to make access to this program more widely available. More details will be shared later in the year about these clinics.

“Having strong internet connectivity at one’s home is vital for success in our digital society,” said City Councilmember Sara Nelson, citywide. “However, that’s not the reality for many in our community. This funding will help us make the bridge for the digital divide longer and stronger.”

Nationally, the program has reached more than 18 million households. The program seeks to reach more by engaging trusted organizations to work with families and raise awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Local partners will include Seattle Housing Authority, the Chinese Information and Service Center, Urban League, and Villa Comunitaria.

“This new federal funding will allow us to explore more opportunities to reach residents and align them with crucial technology support lacking in some communities,” said Interim Chief Technology Officer Jim Loter. “Our Digital Equity program has strong ties to the community, and this funding allows us to make further inroads to help more people.”

“I’m grateful for this new funding to expand our efforts to bridge the broadband affordability gap,” said Digital Equity Program and Broadband Manager Jon Morrison Winters. “Our team is ready and excited to roll up our sleeves and reach everyone in Seattle who needs this assistance.”

Enrollment in the ACP is now open for households with at least one member qualifying under any of the following criteria:

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Participates in specific assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline.
  • Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

Apply at 

The City of Seattle’s Information Technology Department (Seattle IT) oversees the City’s Digital Equity Program. To learn more about the ACP and other Digital Equity Programs, including the Technology Matching Fund Grant program, reduced-cost cable and internet opportunities, and other programs, visit Seattle IT is a trusted partner that provides secure, reliable, and compliant technologies, enabling the City to deliver equitable and responsive services to the public.