Lindsay McKenzie

BEAD waiver information coming this summer, NTIA says

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it will release a draft of its requirements for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program spending later in summer 2023, which is expected to include limited exceptions to “Build America, Buy America” rules. The “Buy America” rules require states spend the majority of their federal dollars received through the $42.5 billion BEAD program on American-made materials.

NYC expands city broadband to additional public housing sites

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to expand the city’s Big Apple Connect program — offering free broadband and basic cable to an additional 17 public housing developments in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The Big Apple Connect program, which Mayor Adams launched September 2022, had enrolled 100,000 households by last March 2023, with a 75% adoption rate across eligible housing developments

State broadband officials call grant awards ‘wonderful,’ if less than expected

A day after the Biden administration announced how it will distribute its nearly $42.5 billion Broadband, Equity, Accessibility, and Deployment (BEAD) grant program, a group of state broadband officials touted the hundreds of millions of dollars they’re set to oversee, but with a note of curiosity as to why their awards weren’t greater. While this infusion of cash is undoubtedly cause for celebration, some

Baltimore’s redlining legacy has lasting impact, residents tell FCC

Representatives of the Federal Communications Commission visited Baltimore to hear about residents’ experience of digital discrimination in the city. Some said the city’s past continues to affect technology access today. Some residents told the FCC that the city’s majority-Black population is concentrated in areas where internet service is slow. Others said multi-generational households often lack the funds to pay for high-speed internet service.

NTIA chief says states have ‘homework assignments’ on broadband permits

Internet service providers will need to secure multiple permits to build broadband infrastructure — a process that is currently so time-consuming it could significantly hinder efforts to close the digital divide, internet policy experts said. At the federal level, discussions about broadband permitting reform are underway, but state and local governments should also take this issue seriously to ensure federal broadband grants are spent effectively, said Alan Davidson, the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The NTIA is expected to announce in June

‘BEAD without equity is just BAD,’ NTIA official says

Broadband expansion is the goal of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) $42.5 billion Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grant program, but the initiative won’t be successful without a sufficient focus on digital equity and community engagement, said NTIA officials.

NTIA working on guidance to address states' broadband grant questions

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration is developing guidance that will clarify how states should handle the process of distributing Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program funding. Addressing the US Conference of Mayors, NTIA Senior Adviser Sarah Morris said the agency is working to answer many state officials asking how they should manage the distribution of BEAD funding at the local level, including concerns over which projects are worth funding and how to find reliable data.

Nevada advances on broadband expansion, despite state law

Nevada is working to distribute its biggest-ever investment in broadband infrastructure in conjunction with local communities, despite state laws restricting municipalities and counties from providing telecommunications services. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is administering the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, wants municipal broadband providers to have access to these funds. But Nevada is one of 17 states with laws limiting the expansion of municipal broadband networks.