The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has passed through congress and was signed into law on November 15th, 2021. The act has a cost of $1.2 trillion, which makes it one of the largest pieces of legislation in history. The goal is to help restore and improve America’s infrastructure, create jobs, and improve the country as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the next several years, this money will be used to fund all sorts of different projects ranging from rebuilding roads and bridges to helping to provide internet access to everyone in the country. Of course, a large amount of these funds will be granted to private businesses that perform the work that needs to be done to accomplish the goals of the legislation.
With this in mind, companies from throughout the country are working on coming up with project ideas that they can attempt to have funded through this act. The following are five IT focused project options to consider.
Cybersecurity Improvement Projects
This piece of legislation has $1 billion set aside for projects that are focused on improving various types of cybersecurity. While the main focus of this area of the legislation is to help state, local, tribal, and territorial groups improve their digital security, almost any company can apply.
Look at your current IT systems and think about where they can be improved. If improving your cybersecurity could become a project that could be funded by the federal government, it will be well worth the effort to move forward. Depending on the type of business you run, you could also look into offering services to other companies, schools, or departments that will help them to improve their digital security.
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Build or Support the Expansion of Internet Access
Bringing broadband internet access to every American is a big challenge that this piece of legislation is trying to tackle. With over $50 billion in funds for various types of projects that will help to bring broadband access to everyone, there is a lot of money available to those who need it.
The bulk of the federal funds ($42.4 billion) will go to individual states to use to help achieve this goal, so you may need to work with your local or state government agencies. There are many different types of IT projects that can be attempted with the hope of bringing Internet access to everyone.
Consider, for example, running high speed lines to your various corporate offices in a way that would improve access to the surrounding communities. Get creative and try to find ways that you can boost your company’s digital connectivity while also bringing the Internet to everyone.
Smart Grid Investments
This legislation has set aside a lot of money to help improve the energy infrastructure of the country. This includes $3 Billion that will go toward smart grid investments. Consider taking steps to update and improve the electrical systems of your company by using various smart devices and monitoring systems. If done properly, you may be able to get your company’s buildings updates covered by these grants.
Part of this federal investment will come in the form of matching grants. This means if you spend money to improve the smart grid that your company uses, the federal government may match that investment. This has the potential to let you complete major improvements without spending more than you can afford.
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Adding EV Charging Stations
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming very popular, it is very likely that your company already has some people who drive them. This legislation is looking to fund the expansion of EV charging stations throughout the country to help support the vital infrastructure that is needed to allow the widespread adoption of EVs.
While the main focus is going to be on building EV charging stations along major roads throughout the country, you may be able to get your own project financed, at least in part. Consider, for example, adding EV charging stations to your own parking lot. This can serve as an excellent benefit to employees, and will also help your company to ‘go green.’
This may qualify for funding from this or other federal legislation. Even private EV charging stations benefit everyone because they help to reduce the number of people who need to use the public stations. They also help to encourage more and more people to switch to EVs, which is great for the environment.
Water and Pipe Quality Improvements
Another major infrastructure improvement effort that this legislation is focused on is improving the water and pipe quality throughout the country. While on the surface this does not seem like an IT effort, it really can be.
One of the specific areas of the legislation, for example, is $10 million for advanced drinking water technology grants. Another $25 million is for clean water infrastructure resiliency and sustainability, which will undoubtedly rely on technology to accomplish.
Look at how your company uses water, and how it may impact the community around you. One common example is when a company’s data center is cooled using a chilled water system. You may be able to upgrade or improve this system with partial funding if it includes the modernization of pipes that feed into your area.
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Can Your IT Projects be Funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act?
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is massive, but like all government programs, it is also quite complicated. While there are many IT focused projects that could get funded through this piece of legislation, you will need to jump through the necessary hoops in order to secure that funding.
Make sure you fill out the proper paperwork or work with the proper agencies in order to ensure you get the money that is needed to fund your next project.
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