WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the first ACCESS BROADBAND Report, which highlights the accomplishments of NTIA’s recently established Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) over the past year. The report, mandated by the ACCESS BROADBAND Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021, also covers investments in federal broadband support programs and Universal Service Fund (USF) programs.
“Our newly published ACCESS BROADBAND Report is an important addition to our coordinated approach to expand broadband access while promoting government transparency and efficient data collection,” said Acting NTIA Administrator Evelyn Remaley. “The Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth is home to decades of experience in broadband and is a key leader in our efforts to close the digital divide and improve reporting on federal investments.”
President Biden’s recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion to expand broadband in communities across the U.S. About $48 billion is allocated to NTIA to create more low-cost broadband service options, subsidize the cost of service for low-income households, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities. These funds build upon three programs established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for which NTIA is currently in the process of reviewing applications and making awards: the Broadband Infrastructure Program, the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP), and the Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program.
The ACCESS BROADBAND Report is part of NTIA’s continued effort to improve availability of broadband-related data, enhance coordination across federal partners, and enable transparency in government spending. It was developed in coordination with 13 federal agencies comprising 55 total programs.
“Understanding and measuring the breadth and depth of Federal government’s broadband investments is critical to create an efficient and equitable distribution of resources. Our newly published ACCESS BROADBAND Report proves we are well equipped to bring agencies together to improve availability of broadband-related data,” said Doug Kinkoph, Associate Administrator of the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth. “With the report findings, we are better equipped to work with our federal partners to coordinate our data collection and reporting efforts and foster transparency in federal broadband spending.”
The report summarizes the federal broadband investment landscape, outlines the current state of measuring investments and connection across federal broadband support and USF programs, and provides key recommendations to improve efforts to track broadband spending and outcomes. These recommendations include: promoting consistency across programs; leveraging open data initiatives; and identifying data sources and alternatives.
Visit NTIA’s website to view the full report.