What is the Digital Equity Act?
The new Digital Equity Act (DEA), part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), provides an unprecedented opportunity to secure digital equity and inclusion for everyone in the US.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is responsible for managing DEA funds. DEA funding is divided into three programs:
- State Planning Grant: $60 million (via formula funding) for states to create their Digital Equity Plan over one year
- State Capacity Grant: $1.44 billion (via formula funding) for states to implement their Digital Equity Plan over five years
- Competitive Grant: $1.25 billion (via competitive funding) for eligible entities to implement digital inclusion activities over five years
The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the State Planning Grant was released on May 13, 2022, and states submitted their applications by July 12, 2022.
Between August 29 and December 23, 2022, all 50 states received their planning funds. States now have a year from the time they received funding to create their Digital Equity Plan. Without a complete Digital Equity Plan, states will not be able to apply for the State Capacity Grant.
(Timeline from NTIA’s Digital Equity Act Programs Overview fact sheet.)
Learn more about the Digital Equity Act below, and visit our DEA News and Updates page to stay up to date. For further resources on digital equity and inclusion and advocacy, see our Digital Equity Resources page.
Official Digital Equity Act Links
- Digital Equity Act Programs Overview – Internet for All: A one-pager on the three DEA grants and the funding timeline from NTIA.
- Digital Equity Act Program – Internet for All: The DEA landing page on NTIA’s Internet for All site.
- Internet for All Map: Interactive map with contacts, program statuses, and funding allocations by state.
- Digital Equity Programs – BroadbandUSA: The DEA landing page on NTIA’s BroadbandUSA site, with planning guidance and technical assistance for states. Topics include digital equity and inclusion, aligning DEA and BEAD, local coordination, and stakeholder engagement.
- Digital Equity Act FAQs – BroadbandUSA: The official FAQ document on the DEA. Last updated on June 6, 2022.
- Digital Equity Act Programs Webinar – Internet for All: Recording and slides for the webinar NTIA held on May 18, 2022.
- Full legislative text (in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act)
Other DEA 101 Resources
- Digital Equity Act 101 – World Education: A slide deck digital equity and inclusion advocates can use to spread awareness of DEA and the digital divide.
- Digital Equity Now: A Call to Action for Adult Education Leadership – World Education: A blog post summarizing the Digital Equity Act and why the adult education field needs to get involved.
- Implementing the New Digital Equity Act: What Workforce and Education Advocates Need to Know – National Skills Coalition: A brief on the DEA geared towards advocates in workforce, higher education, and adult education.
- Gearing Up for the Digital Equity Act with Libraries – National Skills Coalition: Recording and slides from a webinar on how libraries can leverage DEA funding.
- Blog posts on Digital Equity Act – National Digital Inclusion Alliance: Key updates on the Digital Equity Act for digital inclusion advocates.