Federal Telecommunications Officials Can Build on State Successes

In comments, Pew also urges greater collaboration and insight from independent experts

Federal Telecommunications Officials Can Build on State Successes

On Feb. 4, The Pew Charitable Trusts responded to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA’s) request for comments regarding implementation of broadband expansion and digital equity programs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). In its comments, Pew recommended that NTIA take lessons from the progress states have already made in increasing broadband availability, including through prioritizing fiber deployment, implementing challenge processes to ensure that grant dollars reach the communities most in need, and providing funds to nontraditional internet service providers, such as cooperatives and investor-owned utilities.

Additionally, Pew encouraged NTIA to collaborate with other federal agencies to align requirements across broadband funding programs and accelerate implementation—and to engage with independent experts and stakeholders to ensure that IIJA program guidelines reflect the latest research in the field as well as future needs.

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Infrastructure Bill Includes Historic Broadband Provisions

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A sweeping $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate on Aug. 10 would invest $65 billion in fast and reliable broadband infrastructure, affordability, and adoption. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also would provide hundreds of billions of dollars for roads, high-speed rail, and other projects.