NTIA Blog

Spotlight on NTIA: Isha Carry, Program Analyst, Office of Policy Coordination and Management

June 27, 2014 by NTIA

This post is part of our “Spotlight on NTIA” blog series, which is highlighting the work that NTIA employees are doing to advance NTIA’s mission of promoting broadband adoption, finding spectrum to meet the growing demand for wireless technologies, and ensuring the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.

Isha Carry photoIsha Carry has spent her entire career at the Commerce Department, but one could hardly accuse her of being complacent. Carry began working at Commerce at age 16 in the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration. In her 22 years with the department, she has held several positions with many different responsibilities. Her experience ranges from serving as program assistant at the International Trade Administration (ITA) to IT specialist in the Office of the Secretary.

Carry currently works in NTIA’s Office of Policy Coordination and Management (OPCM).  She uses her varied skills and experience to fill several roles for OPCM, and is often considered the “go-to” person to get things done. Her day could range from dealing with property management and FirstNet’s move to new workspace to production of NTIA’s Congressional budget submission. Carry is looking forward to expanding her role in the development and implementation of NTIA’s budget in the upcoming fiscal year.

 “You have to continue to grow,” Carry says on why she has changed jobs so many times. She added that she has always strived to continue to learn and acquire new skills. Carry also notes that she has developed great friendships inside and outside the department. She began her career with the federal government with the help of the “Stay in School” work study program she participated in through her high school.

Working with Our Global Partners to Advance an Open Internet

June 20, 2014 by Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling

Three years ago this month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) endorsed a set of principles that encouraged its members to implement policies that call for a common approach to Internet policymaking that center on ensuring the openness of the Internet. The Internet Policymaking Principles (IPPs) include many of the same principles the United States has long advocated in its approach to Internet policymaking, standards and governance including calls to ensure the openness of the Internet, protect and promote the free flow of information on the Internet, and use of the multistakeholder approach to tackle Internet policy challenges.

In celebration of the three-year anniversary of the IPPs, today I met in Paris with a number of foreign government representatives and other stakeholders to discuss ways we can continue to advance the goals outlined in the OECD’s IPPs and the joint challenges we face. These principles, which were inspired by Internet principles adopted by Brazil, were developed in 2011 as OECD members sought ways to spur economic growth as well as respond to threats to online freedom worldwide and advance a more inclusive approach to Internet policy development.

The Internet has been an engine for global economic growth, innovation and societal change for more than two decades. It has torn down walls between countries in an unprecedented way and is an important tool for the free exchange of ideas.

NTIA Releases Interim Progress Report on Administration’s Plan to Free Up More Spectrum

June 05, 2014 by NTIA

NTIA today released the Fourth Interim Progress Report on the Obama Administration’s initiative to identify and make available 500 megahertz of federal and non-federal spectrum for commercial wireless broadband use by 2020. This report also includes a plan for federal agencies to conduct quantitative assessments of their actual spectrum usage in 960 megahertz of additional spectrum, as directed in President Obama’s June 2013 Memorandum.

America’s future competitiveness and global technology leadership depend on access to radio spectrum – the lifeblood of smartphones, tablets, and other data-hungry wireless devices.  That is why President Obama’s June 2010 Memorandum set a bold goal of nearly doubling the amount of spectrum available for commercial use by the end of this decade. Between October 2010 and September 2013, NTIA formally recommended or otherwise identified for potential reallocation up to 405 megahertz of spectrum.

Working to Ensure Americans Remain Connected When Disaster Strikes

May 30, 2014 by Stephen Fletcher, Associate Administrator, Office of Public Safety Communications
Stephen Fletcher, Associate Administrator, Office of Public Safety Communications

With the start of summer comes the beginning of the hurricane season along much of the U.S. coast.  And with hurricanes comes the increased possibility that communications could be disrupted.

Less than two years ago, Hurricane Sandy left a trail of death and destruction including disrupted communications for millions of people and thousands of businesses along the East Coast. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that about a quarter of cell sites across 10 states and the District of Columbia were knocked out of service during the peak of the storm.

As the Executive Branch agency primarily responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information issues, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been working with other federal agencies to help Americans remain connected in the wake of natural disasters or other emergencies.

In its report released last August, the White House’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force called on NTIA and the U.S. Department of Energy to work with the FCC to develop recommendations that help facilitate improved resiliency for cell phone towers, data centers and other critical communications infrastructure in the event of a power disruption following a disaster. NTIA and the Energy Department expect to complete the recommendations later this year.   

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Building on the Community Broadband Momentum

May 29, 2014 by Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling

Today NTIA is hosting the first of several workshops focused on community broadband as we explore ways to build on the momentum of our successful broadband grant programs and look at what comes next.

The 2009 Recovery Act included more than $7 billion to expand access to high-speed Internet services to close the digital divide and spark economic growth. Through our Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, NTIA invested about $4 billion of that in 230 projects across the country that have built critical network infrastructure, opened or upgraded public computer centers and established broadband adoption programs. And through our State Broadband Initiative Program, we invested another almost $300 million to help states collect broadband data for the National Broadband Map and expand their statewide broadband capacity.

Today, these investments are enabling one-to-one computing programs and replacing old-fashioned textbooks with engaging online instructional materials in North Carolina classrooms. They are allowing Arkansas physicians to remotely examine patients located hundreds of miles away in far-flung rural corners of the state. They are supporting digital literacy training in low-income Latino communities across California. And they are bringing 4G LTE wireless broadband service to parts of the Navajo Nation that previously lacked even basic landline phone service.

Spotlight on NTIA: Evelyn Remaley, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

May 09, 2014 by NTIA

This post is part of our “Spotlight on NTIA” blog series, which is highlighting the work that NTIA employees are doing to advance NTIA’s mission of promoting broadband adoption, finding spectrum to meet the growing demand for wireless technologies, and ensuring the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.

Evelyn Remaley photoSince she landed her first job after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Evelyn Remaley has worked on issues that explore the intersection of the Internet and society.

While a researcher with the Pittsburgh public library system, Remaley worked on the organization’s efforts to challenge the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that aimed to limit access to pornographic material on the Internet.  It was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1997. Even though her work with the Pittsburgh library and a stint as a grants writer at the University of Maryland delayed her from attending law school by a few years, she remained involved in technology and Internet related issues.

Since landing at NTIA last September, Remaley is helping to lead NTIA’s efforts to promote openness and innovation on the Internet as deputy associate administrator for the Office of Policy Analysis and Development. OPAD deals with a wide range of issues from promoting consumer choice through cell phone unlocking to protecting online privacy. In addition to helping to manage the office’s activities and staff, Remaley has been tasked with leading NTIA’s cybersecurity efforts, which will likely include reaching out to stakeholders on the best way to help them address cybersecurity challenges.

New Case Studies Show Schools, Libraries and Health Care Providers Play Key Role in Broadband Expansion and Adoption

May 09, 2014 by NTIA

“With their own laptops, they can do their homework anytime. And then, all of a sudden, you see the homework, you see the projects being done, and the scientific research symposiums that they’re applying to. You see them taking it a little bit further with the scholarship applications.” – MESA Director, Skyline Community College, CA (Foundation for California Community Colleges partner)

In 2010, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), NTIA awarded more than $450 million in matching grants to establish or upgrade public computer centers and initiate innovative broadband adoption programs in underserved communities. Four years later, that investment has resulted in more than 3,000 new or improved public computer centers and produced 600,000 new household broadband subscriptions.

These grants complement the $3.4 billion in infrastructure investments from NTIA that have enabled BTOP grant recipients to connect more than 21,000 community anchor institutions with ultra-fast broadband, including 2,400 medical and health care providers, more than 1,300 libraries, and 8,000 K-12 schools.  BTOP has provided a significant down-payment on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to link all schools to high-speed Internet by 2018.

Schools, libraries, and health care providers were pivotal in making this rapid expansion possible.  These anchor institutions already had close ties to their communities, recognized the enormous benefits high-speed Internet affords, and possessed skilled staff to organize classes and broker learning resources. 

A Major Win for the Open Internet

April 30, 2014 by Michael Daniel, Lawrence E. Strickling, Daniel Sepulveda, Christopher Painter and Scott Busby

This blog is cross posted on the U.S. Department of State’s blog

Last week, we announced that we were heading to São Paulo, Brazil to attend NETmundial, a global meeting of governments, entrepreneurs, academics, Internet institutions, civil society activists and users to discuss the future of Internet governance.  We expressed our hope that NETmundial would make an important contribution to the positive evolution of the Internet and its governance.  Our optimism was well-founded.  As one of Brazil’s leading Internet scholars and chair of Netmundial Virgilio Almeida brought NETmundial to a close, the U.S. government delegation rose in applause.  And almost everyone else in the room rose with us.

We applauded to affirm the Multistakeholder Statement of São Paulo, the ideas it presents, the ideals it embraces, and the multistakeholder process that made it possible.  We rose out of appreciation for the Brazilians and the Internet community leaders that brought us together and impressively managed a challenging conversation.  And we rose in joint commitment to preserving, promoting, and expanding the benefits of a single, interoperable, open, and global Internet for all of the world’s people.

Supporting an Open and Inclusive Internet in Brazil

April 21, 2014 by Michael Daniel, Lawrence E. Strickling, Daniel Sepulveda, Christopher Painter and Scott Busby

This blog is cross posted on the U.S. Department of State’s blog

This week, we head to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to attend NETmundial, a global meeting of governments, entrepreneurs, academics, Internet institutions, activists and users to discuss the future of Internet governance.  Over two days delegates will discuss and work toward developing a set of principles to guide international Internet governance activities in the future.  We will also try to construct a roadmap for the evolution of the existing multi-stakeholder system of Internet governance to increase its inclusiveness, transparency, and responsiveness to the needs of underrepresented communities.

The United States will work with other delegations to expand the community of individuals, organizations, firms, and governments who are willing to put their faith in the proven multi-stakeholder system of cooperation and coordination;  this system has enabled the unprecedented growth of the global Internet, which in turn has fueled economic development and innovation.  Along with most of the world’s Internet advocates and users, we believe that no one stakeholder or group of stakeholders, including governments, should have control over the operation or protocols of the Internet or the creativity, innovation, and freedom of expression that it enables.

With the help of those who share our faith in the Internet community and its potential, success in Sao Paulo will represent a significant step towards preserving and protecting the social and economic advancement that the Internet is making possible throughout the world.

NTIA Releases 3 Case Studies Examining Impact of Broadband Grants Program on Connecting Libraries

April 17, 2014 by NTIA

“Without broadband, they can't get jobs, and it's as simple as that.” – Georgetown Job Center Coordinator (Delaware Department of Libraries BTOP PCC Project)

In 2010, as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), NTIA awarded more than $200 million in matching grants to establish or upgrade public computer centers (PCCs) throughout the United States.  More than 2,000 of those centers are operated by public libraries, from Maine to Arizona.  These grants complement the $3.4 billion in infrastructure investments that have allowed BTOP grant recipients to connect more than 1,300 libraries nationally with ultra-fast broadband, providing a significant down-payment on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.     

Today we are releasing the first three of 15 PCC and broadband adoption case studies.  These focus on the impact of grants in Delaware, Texas and Michigan.  The release coincides with an important hearing on libraries and broadband, sponsored by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, or IMLS.   The case studies were conducted for NTIA by an independent research firm, ASR Analytics, which analyzed the impact these PCCs are having in their local communities.