Rep. Carbajal Announces $444,000 Grant from American Rescue Plan to Expand High-Speed Internet in Northern Santa Barbara County

Santa Ynez Chumash and EconAlliance receive grant from U.S. Department of Commerce to expand broadband connectivity to foster economic growth, promote telehealth, and improve internet speeds for local hospitals and students

Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal announced a $444,787 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to improve high-speed internet connectivity in Santa Ynez and other parts of northern Santa Barbara County.

The grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan, the landmark COVID-19 relief bill that Rep. Carbajal helped get signed into law in March 2021.

“Whether it’s a small business needing to bring its goods to market or a student needing to complete their assignments, a sufficient internet connection can make the difference between success and failure,” said Rep. Carbajal. “And in growing sectors of the Central Coast’s economy like telehealth, precision agriculture, or commercial space, we need all of our communities to have the connectivity needed to compete. I’m proud to see legislation I fought to get passed last year funding this critical project. Together with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s record investment in high-speed broadband, we’re going to make great strides to close the digital divide on the Central Coast.”

“Partnering with EconAlliance on this project and receiving this federal grant brings us closer to improving internet access throughout Northern Santa Barbara County," said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. "We look forward to producing a sound plan and working with area cities to make broadband connectivity a reality in our community.”

The grant, which was awarded in partnership to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance), will help expand high-speed internet access in North Santa Barbara County to support business development and economic growth, as well as sectors that are relying increasingly on broadband access like agriculture, health care, and commercial space.

Rep. Carbajal specifically pushed the U.S. Department of Commerce to approve this grant, citing the impacts that substandard internet access is having on local hospitals, students, agriculture, small businesses, and Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Rep. Carbajal’s letter of support can be found HERE.

The American Rescue Plan, approved with the help of Rep. Carbajal in early 2021, has provided more than $1 billion in economic relief and development funding to the Central Coast.

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