Open government

Jockeying begins ahead of NTIA broadband gold rush

With the closure of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)’s public feedback period on how best to allocate an upcoming $48 billion in broadband infrastructure grants, here are some key comments Politico noticed:

Public Knowledge and TURN Submit Comments on the BEAD Program to NTIA

Public Knowledge and TURN submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) regarding the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. "To successfully implement the [BEAD Program], NTIA must prioritize building future-proof, open access, and municipal networks, and ensure those networks are built with high-quality jobs and adherence to net neutrality principles," said the comments.

AARP Submits Comments to NTIA Regarding Broadband Programs in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

AARP submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) urging the agency to encourage states to integrate digital literacy programs and data-driven planning into their funding strategies for programs created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. "AARP looks forward to partnering with NTIA during the upcoming years to support NTIA’s effective disbursement and oversight of the significant increase in public monies to advance broadband deployment and digital equity," stated AARP in its comments.

INCOMPAS to NTIA: Broadband Infrastructure Money Must Build Competition, Not Monopolies

INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) urging the Department of Commerce to enshrine competition laws into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act implementation to ensure all Americans have access to faster speeds and future proof networks at more affordable prices. The INCOMPAS filing details a road map to help NTIA deliver on the promise of connecting all Americans to better internet services while creating jobs, attracting investment and unleashing innovation.

Next Century Cities Responds to the NTIA’s Request for Comment on Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Programs

The Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) tasks the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with developing rules for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Next Century Cities (NCC) submitted comments to the NTIA encouraging the agency to work closely with local governments and community-based organizations that support new collaborations and build public awareness.

OTI Issues Recommendations on NTIA’s Broadband Infrastructure Funding

On February 4, New America's Open Technology Institute (OTI) filed comments to guide the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in successfully disbursing funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). In the comments, OTI urged NTIA to ensure its administration of the program results in the equitable deployment of broadband and improved access to affordable, quality broadband service.

NTIA to Host Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Grant Program Webinars

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a pre-Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) technical assistance webinar series in March–May 2022.

FCC Modifies Ex Parte Rules in Affordable Connectivity Fund Proceeding

In November 2021, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau sought comment on a range of issues related to modifications and changes in transitioning the EBB Program to the Affordable Connectivity Program established by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. To create a record that would allow the FCC to promulgate rules by the statutory deadline of January 14, 2022, and consistent with congressional directive, the Bureau established a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding with comments due December 8, 2021, and reply comments due December 28, 2021.

FCC Announces January Open Meeting Agenda

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the January 2022 Open Commission Meeting:

Chamber of Commerce’s fight with FTC heats up

The Federal Trade Commission has hit back against the US Chamber of Commerce, denying 35 of the 37 public records requests filed by the lobbying group about the FTC’s voting rules, policy statements and plans to fine businesses who break the law. The Chamber had come out swinging before Thanksgiving, accusing the agency of “going rogue” with its actions.