Federal Agency

A $10 Billion Broadband Black Hole?

The US Treasury just gave California more than half a billion dollars to fund broadband buildout. This money may help reduce the digital divide. It also might not.

Senators Bennet and Welch Reintroduce Landmark Legislation to Establish Federal Commission to Oversee Digital Platforms

US Sens Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Digital Platform Commission Act, the first-ever legislation in Congress to create an expert federal agency to provide comprehensive regulation of digital platforms to protect consumers, promote competition, and defend the public interest.

Treasury Releases SLFRF and CPF Supplementary Broadband Guidance

On May 17, 2023, The US Department of the Treasury released supplementary broadband guidance for its State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) and Capital Projects Fund (CPF). As provided for in each SLFRF and CPF award agreement, the Uniform Guidance applies to all uses of funds made available under those awards unless provided otherwise by Treasury. In response to questions from recipients and internet service providers, Treasury issued this guidance regarding the application of the Uniform Guidance to broadband infrastructure projects.

NTIA Commits Nearly $5 Million in Internet for All Grants to Tribal Lands

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded grants totaling $4,997,592.68 to ten Tribes as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP). With funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), these new grants bring the total of the program to over $1.77 billion awarded to 157 Tribal entities. These grants will help reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment, and purchase devices.

States Getting Ready to Spend Broadband and Digital Equity Dollars

Broadband officials have been hitting the road in 2023, conducting listening sessions across their states and territories.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Responds to Members of Congress Regarding the Commission’s Efforts to Develop an Iterative National Broadband Map

Since the passage of the Broadband DATA Act, the Federal Communications Commission has worked carefully to implement the requirements of the law and to begin the iterative data collection and challenge processes envisioned by the Act through the creation of its Broadband Data Collection program. As required by the Broadband DATA Act, the FCC has built an entirely new data-collection system for ingesting, validating, and aggregating both provider data for download and publication on the National Broadband Map. To do so, the Broadband DATA Act required the Commission to develop the Broadband

FCC Takes Additional Steps to Protect the Integrity and Success of the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Federal Communications Commission wrote to the largest Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) providers using alternate verification processes to request a subscriber eligibility crosscheck with the National Verifier system. The FCC also requested information on these providers’ continued need to use an alternative verification process and how the process is sufficient to protect program funds. In addition to the letters to participating ACP providers, the FCC announced additional steps to protect the integrity of the ACP Program:

Senators Welch and Marshall Introduce ReConnecting Rural America Act to Expand Access to Broadband in Rural Communities

Sens Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Marshall (R-KS)  introduced the bipartisan ReConnecting Rural America Act, legislation to reauthorize and reinforce the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect Loan and Grant Program.

Treasury Department To Give Awards to Connect More Families and Businesses to High-Speed Internet

The US Department of the Treasury approved federal funds for multi-purpose community facility projects and broadband infrastructure projects in Delaware and Idaho under the American Rescue Plan’s (ARPA) Capital Projects Fund (CPF). A key priority of the CPF program is expanding economic opportunities and providing internet connectivity in communities with unmet needs. The following descriptions summarize the Idaho and Delaware plans that Treasury approved:

FCC Releases Broadband Funding Map

The Federal Communications Commission has released the Broadband Funding Map. The Broadband Funding Map allows users to identify, search, and filter federal funding programs by the Internet Service Provider receiving funding, the duration timeline, the number of locations included in the project, and the download and upload speeds. In addition to depicting where broadband funding exists, the Broadband Funding Map contains broadband availability data as of June 30, 2022—the same data that currently appear on the National Broadband Map.