Recommendations for a National Broadband Agenda

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Recommendations for a National Broadband Agenda

January 2021


We need a national, comprehensive broadband strategy, a plan that ensures that everyone in America can use High-Performance Broadband as soon as possible. These recommendations are drawn from Benton's Broadband for America Now and Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s. They highlight actions that can be taken by the Biden Administration, Congress, and the Federal Communications Commission.[1]

I. Build a More Equitable Society by Making Affordable Broadband Available to Everyone

Making affordable High-Performance Broadband available to low-income, unserved and underserved populations will contribute to a more equitable society. Investment in broadband infrastructure must be accompanied by investment in people, including digital skills training that empowers users to make the most of their connections.

1. Create a Broadband Affordability Agenda

Congress has tasked the FCC with ensuring universal, affordable communications networks since creating the agency in 1934. This year, the FCC should concentrate on how it can make fixed broadband to the home much more affordable and adopt policies that ensure no one goes without broadband service because it costs too much.

  • All broadband policy should promote competition, which lowers prices, improves quality, and speeds innovation.
  • The FCC should protect and strengthen the Lifeline program by:
    • expanding the ability of new, competitive broadband providers, including community anchor institutions, to participate as Lifeline Broadband Providers;
    • simplifying the enrollment of eligible people; and
    • considering how best to enlarge the scope of individual eligibility.
  • The FCC should provide any necessary technical assistance to broadband providers’ low-income programs. For example, private broadband providers should be allowed to access the Lifeline national eligibility verification database or similar mechanisms of eligibility verification.
  • The FCC should educate and protect consumers, including through the use of the Fixed Broadband Consumer Disclosure Label, adopted by the FCC in 2015 but later rescinded.
  • The FCC should work with governments at all levels to make low-cost computing devices available. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, which became law on December 27, 2020, offers a temporary, emergency subsidy of up to $100 for a low-cost device such as a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes $10-$50 for the device. (Households are eligible for one device.) Support for computer refurbishers to package low-cost or free devices, connectivity, and ongoing technical support for low-income consumers should be promoted. Governments are an obvious source of used computers.

2. Create a Permanent Broadband Credit

The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes $3.2 billion for a $50/month ($75/month on Tribal lands) Emergency Broadband Benefit to broadband providers offering service to low-income households, including those economically-challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the program is not permanent.

In a June 2020 Boston Globe op-ed, former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Benton Senior Fellow Jonathan Sallet called on Congress to establish a permanent broadband credit to ensure that many more people can afford high-speed internet access. To be comprehensive, Congress should ensure that people can afford both mobile and fixed service; at the moment, the FCC’s Lifeline program is typically used for mobile service. Like the Emergency Broadband Benefit, this new, permanent program should focus on broadband to the home. The op-ed outlined the following design elements for Congress to consider:

  • Affordable service. A household subsidy of $50/month, (with a higher subsidy for tribal lands), is roughly the cost of medium-tier broadband plans in urban settings. That subsidy would allow anyone and any device in the household to be connected to the internet simultaneously, which is how so many families today are operating.
  • Robust broadband performance. Public policy would not be well served by appropriating federal funds to pay for services already provided today at a lower cost; the government should not pay $50/month for what is already being provided for, say, $10/month. Nor should Congress accept the current 25/3 measure of broadband as adequate.  The minimum standards should include 50/50 Mbps, low-latency service with unlimited data usage as a starting point for a low-cost program.
  • Portable credits. The FCC’s current Lifeline program limits the number of broadband providers that may provide service. Like the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a permanent program should allow eligible participants to choose their broadband provider, which would give them more options and help to boost competition (where there is competition). The program could be structured so that broadband providers are reimbursed by the federal government.
  • Eligible participants. Expand eligibility beyond the people currently eligible for Lifeline. Congress crafted the Emergency Broadband Benefit to include the newly-unemployed, low-income families with K-12 students in Title I schools, and college students receiving Pell Grants. The new program should also include at-risk senior citizens or other people in need of long-term telehealth services, and consumers with disabilities, who tend to have lower incomes. The goal should be to capture the right criteria for eligibility through participation in existing government assistance programs.
  • Verification. Eligibility verification for users should be quick and easy, and certification of broadband providers offering eligible services should be expeditious. Thus, there should be a mechanism by which enrollment in the broadband program occurs automatically upon entry into any of the qualified programs—subject, of course, to an opt-out provision. To expedite enrollment, providers of broadband service should (a) make it available without any waiting period or deposit, (b) allow enrollment regardless of past arrearages, and (c) permit consumers to terminate service at any time without penalty or harm to credit scores.
  • Dedicated funding. The permanent broadband credit program will need stable and dedicated funding of its own.

In addition, public-interest requirements should accompany any broadband construction or upgrades that rely on public funding. For example, recipients of federal deployment funding should be required to offer two baseline standardized tiers of service: a $50/month package for all consumers, and one at $10/month for income-eligible individuals. Governments should ensure that middle-mile and backhaul facilities constructed with government support are open and available to multiple broadband providers.

3. Deliver Digital Skills to Empower Participation and Recover Jobs

Even in a time of seeming ubiquitous usage, support for the acquisition of digital skills remains important.

Support digital equity programs. The administration should improve coordination of federal digital equity efforts[2] and support digital equity programs led by states that will work at the local level with communities to provide the skills people need to use broadband connections. A good example comes from the infrastructure bill that passed the House of Representatives in July 2020, which contains about $1.3 billion to fund state digital equity grants, including funds that would go to local communities, nonprofits, and community anchor institutions, with funding specified for Indian tribes, Alaska Native entities, and Native Hawaiian organizations.[3]

Provide enhanced skills for job seekers. For many Americans, especially those who have lost their jobs and are unlikely to get them back, digital skills training could be the key to new employment opportunities. Broadband, already important to digital skills training, has become even more crucial during the pandemic to allow people to access this training in two key ways:[4]

  1. As a delivery mechanism. Some digital skills training can take place online, either through remote classes or a virtual experience designed to emulate the job.
  2. As a wraparound service. Access to broadband may ease the burden of finding childcare or food-availability support. Broadband may allow an individual, who might not otherwise participate, to choose to enroll in online digital skills training.

As local governments around the nation have demonstrated, digital inclusion efforts are most successful when they enlist the community in order to reach people in convenient, trusted places.

Applying the lessons of local and regional economic clusters, state and local governments should focus training on middle-skill and other jobs important to their local economies. Digital inclusion plans should recognize which local institutions (i.e., libraries, local churches, community centers) can best reach the people who need to be served.

The Biden administration should support economic-development programs (e.g., the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration) that facilitate the inclusion of broadband deployment, adoption, and digital literacy in any regional economic strategy.

II. Ensure that High-Performance Broadband Reaches Everywhere in the U.S.

In a world in which the talents of all people matter, broadband infrastructure investment is a necessary economic strategy. There is no reason to saddle any area with second-rate broadband.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, facilitate economic recovery, address racial inequity, and battle climate change, we need High-Performance Broadband networks to reach everywhere in the U.S.

1. Pursue a Unified Broadband Infrastructure Agenda

Federal efforts should support a national broadband agenda across the board. And executive branch agencies must synergize their respective expertise. No federal agency knows rural America better than the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FCC is the government’s expert on reverse auctions. Through its efforts collecting information about broadband deployment across the nation, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has developed significant expertise working with localities and states to improve broadband access and provide issues-based educational resources to the field. Agencies like Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Education, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Federal Reserve Banks (which manage the Community Reinvestment Act) should focus their broadband efforts on High-Performance Broadband. For example, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) should require that all new construction subject to its minimum standards will incorporate the infrastructure necessary for High-Performance Broadband to reach into residential units and be available to multiple, competitive providers.

Map broadband oases and deserts. With the passage of the Broadband DATA Act in March 2020, the congressional mandate is clear: Effective deployment requires accurate data. The Consolidated Appropriations Act provides the FCC with $65 million to improve broadband mapping.

In addition, the NTIA, the FCC, and USDA should publish a comprehensive map that demonstrates the eligibility of different areas of the country for federal broadband programs. The National Broadband Map would inform this new Broadband Support Eligibility Map.

Make broadband the job of every part of the federal government. The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes S. 1294, the Broadband Interagency Coordination Act, which:

  • requires the FCC, the USDA's Rural Utilities Service, and NTIA to enter into an interagency agreement requiring coordination and information sharing between the agencies regarding the distribution of funds for broadband deployment; 
  • designates the FCC as the entity primarily responsible for coordinating information sharing among the agencies, and storing and maintaining access to broadband deployment data; and
  • directs the FCC to seek public comment on the effectiveness of the agreement, with a report to Congress on those comments.

Given that broadband touches so many parts of the federal government, including agriculture, economic development, education, and housing, the administration should appoint a broadband coordinator to enlist federal agencies across the board and to improve outcomes by supporting state, tribal, and local governments. For example:

  • Agencies, realizing the critical role that broadband plays in fulfilling their missions, should focus on aiding the deployment of High-Performance Broadband and spurring adoption among their constituencies.
  • Where governments fund infrastructure, like highways and bridges, they should mandate installation of broadband infrastructure (like conduit) that is available to multiple providers.
  • Federal procurement policies can also consciously spur broadband deployment.

2. Deploy Scalable Broadband Networks

In December 2020, the FCC awarded $9.2 billion in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. Another $11.2 billion will be awarded in Phase II. The Consolidated Appropriations Act includes $1 billion in grants for Tribal broadband programs and $300 million for rural broadband deployment. Those funds, however, will still not be sufficient to build out High-Performance Broadband networks across the United States. Of course, with more accurate maps, policymakers will be able to refine more precisely what needs to be done, and how much that is likely to cost. The FCC has estimated that the cost of broadband networks reaching everywhere in America at $80 billion.

Phase II RDOF funds and any future federal funding dedicated to broadband deployment should be allocated with the following considerations.

  • Treat broadband as essential infrastructure. Broadband deployment should be embedded in every infrastructure effort undertaken or supported by governments. Facilitating broadband network construction will help rebuild the economy, creating high-paying jobs that are important to economic growth.
  • Give underserved rural and urban areas equal importance. Although rural areas suffer from persistent and unique challenges, lack of broadband anywhere, including in urban environments, must be addressed. America needs High-Performance Broadband everywhere. The focus should be on whether robust broadband is present—not on whether an area meets one of the multiple definitions of “rural.”
  • Establish future-looking performance standards. Public funds should be targeted to networks that, once installed, can easily be upgraded and scaled as the demand for broadband increases—not for the construction of networks that will quickly become obsolete. High-Performance Broadband networks provide fast, symmetrical upload and download speeds, low latency (moving data without noticeable delay), ample monthly usage capacity, and security from cyberattacks. The FCC should promptly scrap its current 25/3 Mbps benchmark for broadband. Fast uploads and downloads are non-negotiable, because symmetrical speeds reflect how Americans are using connections today—from hybrid learning to connecting with doctors. To meet the growing demands for both upstream and downstream transmission, the FCC and USDA should establish high-performance standards (such as a minimum 100/100 Mbps symmetrical requirement) for any new network construction that federal funding supports so that these networks are scalable to meet future needs.
  • Ensure that broadband is available to all Americans as soon as possible. In areas where it is not financially feasible to provide High-Performance Broadband immediately, we need a Plan B that provides basic connectivity now. Congress should offer interim support for currently available solutions, but they must be scalable.
  • Promote competition for government funds. When considering use of public funds, policymakers should employ competitive processes. Reverse auctions and competitive grant programs bring down the cost of funding capital expenditures for broadband deployment. The E-Rate program, for example, has enjoyed considerable savings because of the use of competitive bidding. Reverse auctions should be structured to incentivize and reward the highest performance bids. Provider participation should extend broadly to include new entrants like rural electric co-ops and private-public collaborations.
  • Reject policy based on the word “overbuilding.” Deployment and competition are good for consumers. The question for funding is not whether there is “overbuilding” but whether funding will be well-spent, for example where current networks are clearly inadequate for current and foreseeable demand. In considering expenditures, federal (and, where applicable, state) agencies should consider among other factors: (i) the benefits to consumers of increased deployment and competition, and (ii) the ability of network expansion to capture the advantages of network efficiencies in reaching these areas (and passing those savings along to consumers).

3. Support Tribal, State, and Local Efforts

Address challenges of tribal lands.  Dr. Traci Morris of Arizona State University has explained that internet access on tribal lands “is necessary for every part of functioning life in the U.S.—governance, taxes, education, health care.”[5] Public policy requires an understanding of the specific challenges facing Tribal Nations and solutions fit for those challenges. An important contribution has been offered by Morris and Geoff Blackwell.

Blackwell and Morris have developed a comprehensive agenda to solve Tribal Nation broadband deployment issues, emphasizing that the current federal approach does not work on tribal lands.[6] Their multi-faceted proposal includes (i) establishing a Tribal Broadband Fund to support broadband deployment needs separate from the existing Universe Service Fund framework and (ii) prioritizing spectrum licensing over tribal lands directly to Tribal Nations.

To that end, Blackwell and Morris support passage of the DIGITAL Reservations Act introduced in the 116th Congress by Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM),[7] President Biden’s pick for Secretary of the Interior, the Bridging Tribal Digital Divide Act of 2020 introduced by now former-Senator Tom Udall (D-NM),[8] and provisions of the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act relevant to tribal lands.[9]

Facilitate federal, tribal, state, and local coordination. Solving connectivity challenges will be hobbled for as long as COVID-19 depletes local resources. And local leaders tell us that philanthropic partners and the generosity of providers to create stopgap solutions is welcome but, in the long term, insufficient. The federal government is particularly well poised to fund broadband deployment because the current economic crisis has placed a major strain on state finances. Unlike states, the federal government has broad powers to finance public investment, especially in the face of economic crisis. The administration should embrace state, tribal, and local governments as partners.

III. Promote Competition

Americans should not have to pay more merely because public policy has failed to promote competition effectively. The administration should embrace the goal of competition as articulated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for broadband customers.

1. Encourage New, Competitive Entrants and Local Experiments in Private-Public Collaboration

  • Encourage nontraditional providers. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration should take on the express role of formulating federal broadband policy and working with state, tribal, and local governments to lower regulatory barriers to entry, with emphasis on nontraditional providers. All federal programs that support broadband should consciously work to encourage entry from more broadband providers.
  • Support open-access, middle-mile networks. Federal funding should support the deployment of middle-mile networks that offer nondiscriminatory access to private providers to reach residences and small businesses. Such middle-mile deployment can pack a powerful punch by, for example, bringing scalable connections directly to community anchor institutions while also lowering the cost of investment for private providers that can build from those community anchor institutions to adjoining residential neighborhoods. A federal effort would parallel state initiatives, which have recognized that the presence of open-access, middle-mile networks cuts the cost of reaching homes, which can make broadband service more affordable.
  • Allow municipal experimentation. Congress should pre-empt state laws that restrict municipalities and counties from experimenting with various ways of increasing broadband deployment, such as allowing communities to apply for the same federal and state funding as private companies.
  • Encourage local planning. The administration should provide funding to encourage local planning, which may include developing local or regional broadband strategies and applying for federal broadband grants. Multiple states provide support for these kinds of initiatives, such as Maryland, which offers grants to localities with their internet service provider partners for costs associated with federal funding applications.[10] Such planning efforts can also be helpful in cataloguing all of the challenges, including challenges of digital equity, which will be helpful to all levels of government.

2. Gather Pricing Data and Other Information Necessary to Promote and Assess Competition

Competition cannot be measured without public access to broadband pricing and terms of service.

Require pricing disclosure. Congress should require broadband providers to disclose their residential pricing (with fees and ancillary charges) for each market, and the FCC should provide public analyses of competition in local markets. Such requirements can be tailored to the needs of smaller broadband providers as needed.

Reinstate the Broadband Consumer Disclosure Label. The FCC should reinstate its Broadband Consumer Disclosure Label, which would empower consumers to make better-informed choices for both mobile and fixed broadband services, including by understanding and being able to compare the quality of broadband services (such as the available upstream speed).

3. Expand Competition for Residents of Multi-Tenant Environments

The FCC must protect consumers and foster competition. Congress should resolve current confusion and grant clear authority to the FCC to act on behalf of Multi-Tenant Environments (MTEs), like apartment buildings, to foster competition. Currently, the FCC’s ability to act on MTE issues relies on a combination of authorities from different legislative acts, which can raise complex questions of technology and law that invite extended litigation. As part of that work, the FCC should adopt clear rules that prohibit anticompetitive practices and ban artificial access limits to MTE competition.

Adopt consistent broadband wiring requirements in all federally-supported housing projects and incorporate pro-competitive access requirements. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently required that all multifamily rental housing it directly funds include broadband wiring. These requirements should be extended to multiple-dwelling units only receiving financing insured or guaranteed by HUD or the Federal Housing Administration.

4. Promote Broadband Competition at the Local Level

Policymakers at all levels of government should facilitate new entrants and the deployment of High-Performance Broadband to everyone in a community. Local governments should consider a variety of private-public partnerships to increase competition. Simply starting with an inventory of available fiber infrastructure in a community can jump-start a local strategy.

5. Pursue Pro-competition Spectrum Policies

Policymakers should pursue pro-competition spectrum policies to:

  • Encourage the shared use of spectrum, including between governmental and private users, to enable greater competition and maximize spectrum efficiency. Shared spectrum use will also improve broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas and by smaller and new broadband providers.
  • Provide more unlicensed spectrum to meet growing Wi-Fi demand.
  • Continue to use the so-called spectrum screen in reviews of mergers and acquisitions that include spectrum licenses to prevent anticompetitive concentration of spectrum holdings and/or constrain competition.

IV. Partner with Community Anchor Institutions to Close the Digital Divide

Community anchor institutions need High-Performance Broadband to fulfill their missions, reach users wherever they are, and serve as launching pads for communitywide access.

1. Ensure That Community Anchor Institutions Have the Competitively-Priced Broadband They Need to Meet Increased Bandwidth Demands

  • Establish connectivity goals fit for anticipated rising demand. The FCC’s connectivity goals should be re-examined. Governments should also establish connectivity goals for other community anchor institutions. Such goals should recognize the changing nature of applications, including the increasing use of high-quality video, and the proliferating number of devices that must be supported by on-premises broadband networks. Governments should also ensure that such broadband is high-performance in every sense of the term to meet the needs of community anchor institutions for redundancy, network security, and scalability.
  • Support anchor institutions with direct funding. In addition to using universal-service funds and appropriations from prospective congressional actions, state, tribal, and local governments should provide direct funding, including matching grants, as they are financially able, to community anchor institutions so that the anchor institutions themselves can choose the broadband providers and services that best serve their communities’ needs.
  • Ensure that the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program has the funding it needs to leverage telemedicine opportunities for the long term. Connected health care facilities are especially important in rural markets where hospital closures and a shortage of doctors have made access to health care even more expensive and less available to consumers. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, appropriated an additional $249.95 million to the FCC for its COVID-19 Telehealth Program originally authorized under the CARES Act16 with $200 million. The FCC completed naming awardees in July 2020. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program supports health care providers to bring connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The program provides support to eligible health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by fully funding their telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to provide critical connected care services.

2. Ensure That Everyone Can Access Community Anchor Institution Broadband

Adopt a comprehensive approach for community access to community anchor institution broadband.

Congress should:

  • Ensure that everyone can access High-Performance Broadband, an approach that would, by definition, assist users of community anchor institutions through mechanisms like the proposed broadband credit and deployment funding.
  • Secure support for community anchor institutions to be able to obtain competitive rates for robust broadband to their own facilities.
  • Provide low-income students with the requisite connectivity to learn effectively from home. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, includes some funds for distance learning at the discretion of governors.
  • Guarantee that federal assets, like spectrum, are available to community anchor institutions to help them reach users.

3. Use Community Anchor Institutions as a Launching Pad for Community-Based Broadband Access and Competition

Broadband networks built to connect anchor institutions often reach deep into local neighborhoods. Allowing other internet service providers to use these publicly-funded, middle-mile networks would reduce the cost of building last-mile connections, spurring deployment in residential neighborhoods. Government-supported, middle-mile networks should be available to all broadband providers on a nonexclusive basis. Thus, federally funded deployment of broadband connections to community anchor institutions should permit any extra capacity (such as additional fiber strands) to be used by residential providers so long as federal funding does not go to any non-shared costs of the residential network. This ties closely to the recommendation discussed previously regarding open-access, middle-mile networks that can connect to community anchor institutions.

A challenge to this strategy comes from the administration of the E-Rate program. A shadow has been cast over such efforts by the legal question as to whether E-Rate participants can share their networks for other uses, even where E-Rate is not paying for the expansion of a network to reach residential customers. This uncertainly should be erased. Broadband deployment would be most advantaged if all make-ready costs—such as trenching and conduit—are fully allocable to the FCC’s E-Rate, Rural Health Care, or similar efforts, along with any fiber strands and electronics that will be used for service to the school. Governments should support and promote competition to drive better broadband at lower prices for community anchor institutions.

Governmental support for High-Performance Broadband deployment to community anchor institutions should leverage those networks to spur competition and greater connectivity for nearby residents.

Spectrum policy should allow community anchor institutions to be full or even favored participants in shared and tiered access.

State and local governments should facilitate comprehensive broadband strategies, including encouraging the creation and growth of state research and education networks and bringing institutions together to learn from one another.

V. Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Governments Should Work Together to Implement a Comprehensive Broadband Agenda

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, people in the U.S. placed greater trust in local government than in federal officials.[11] That has been true in this crisis as well, with confidence in state, tribal, and local governments higher than in either Congress or federal agencies.[12]

Broadband is more than just a technology; it is the way that society is being shaped. The laboratory of the states is critical because broadband deployment and usage include strategies that build on different state, tribal, and local circumstances, including their political and economic environments, health threats, resource levels, and broadband usage needs. The fundamental advantage is this: State, tribal, and local governments are not thousands of miles away. They are accessible to local needs and the broadband companies that provide the service. They can achieve results through local knowledge, planning, and active stakeholder engagement. Federal policy should take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of state, tribal, and local governments, and the federal government should leverage its spending capacity to assist those governments facing severe budget shortfalls. The best approach is to fuse federal support with state, tribal, and local leadership.

The administration should make it easier for state, tribal, and local governments to lead in broadband policy by, for instance,

  • Simplifying the process of applying for federal support.
  • Promoting the ability of applicants to use both federal and state funds to maximum effect to build the best networks.

It’s time to build a comprehensive broadband agenda, informed by state, tribal, and local leadership and innovation. The sooner we do so, the sooner we will reap the boundless benefits that come when every person can use a robust connection from their home to the internet: full participation and equal opportunity in our society, our economy, and our democracy.


[1] In 2020, Congress passed two laws that recognize the importance of connectivity. Benton encourages the 117th Congress to adopt a more comprehensive approach to ensuring universal, affordable broadband use.

[2] Yosef Getachew (media & democracy program director, Common Cause), in a note comment sent to Jonathan Sallet, September 9, 2020.

[3] Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2, 116th Congress (2020), §§ 31121-31122,, incorporating Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, H.R. 7302, 116th Congress (2020), §§ 1201-1202, The first digital equity legislation in the current Congress was introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Digital Equity Act of 2019, S.1167, 116th Congress (2019-2020), introduced in Senate April 11, 2019,

[4] John B. Horrigan, “Adapting Jobs Programs for Today and Tomorrow,” Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, August 3, 2020, 7, files/AdaptingJobsPrograms.pdf.

[5] Avi-Asher Schapiro, “Coronavirus Crisis Threatens Internet Opportunity for Native Americans,” Reuters, July 27, 2020,

[6] Brian Howard and Traci Morris, “Memorandum: Tribal and Broadband Issues,” September 24, 2020, on file with Jonathan Sallet.

[7] Deploying the Internet by Guaranteeing Indian Tribes Autonomy over Licensing (DIGITAL) on Reservations Act, H.R. 7774, 116th Congress, introduced July 24, 2020,

[8] Bridging the Tribal Digital Divide Act of 2020, S. 3264, 116th Congress (2020),

[9] Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2, 116th Congress (2020), § 31401,, incorporating Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, H.R. 7302, 116th Congress (2020), §4001,,  (definition of State or local entity).

[10] Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, “Maryland Rural Broadband,”, accessed September 25, 2020.

[11] Lee Rainie, Scott Keeter, and Andrew Perrin, “Trust and Distrust in America,” Pew, July 22, 2019, https://www.

[12] Julie Pace, Hannah Fingerhut, and Will Weissert, “APNORC Poll: Less Than Half Back Trump’s Pandemic Response,” AP News, April 1, 2020, https://apnews. com/1a7c1f7f226c6d04fa7ca380998a7e9a

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.

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Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
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Benton Institute
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