Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced three Notice of Funding Opportunities, collectively called the “Internet for All” program, outlining grant rules for potential recipients seeking broadband funding to promote access, affordability, and digital equity and inclusion. The Internet for All programs were funded under the bipartisan “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” Congress directed the NTIA to distribute nearly $45 billion dollars for broadband deployment and digital equity initiatives. Public Knowledge recently submitted comments encouraging the agency to ensure these funds result in affordable, reliable, and open networks for everyone.
The following can be attributed to Greg Guice, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“The NTIA’s announcement takes significant steps towards closing the digital divide and addressing the equity and inclusion challenges that divide represents. The roadmap set out by NTIA, known as the Internet For All grant programs, leads to a more connected America.
“This roadmap will help promote access to robust, resilient broadband by preferencing fiber connectivity, ensuring that municipalities, cooperatives, and nonprofits are given an opportunity to compete for these funds, and by directing states to select providers that promote expanded affordability to ensure these networks funded by taxpayer dollars are accessible by all consumers. It requires concrete coordination by states with Tribal communities, which are the least-served communities in the country, as well as coordination with other underrepresented groups. It also provides opportunities to address digital literacy and device access. Finally, it requires states to include in their proposals a middle-class affordability plan to ensure that all consumers have access to affordable high-speed internet.
“The challenge now shifts to the states to develop their initial proposals for the NTIA’s review. States should closely follow the NTIA’s roadmap so they can arrive at the destination – a connected America.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.