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E&C Democrats Outline Priorities on Implementation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Broadband Investments

Mar 21, 2022
Press Release
Members Highlight Opportunities to Help Close the Digital Divide Through The $65 Billion Investment in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Seventeen Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee wrote to Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), today outlining their recommendations and priorities as the agency implements the broadband programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Congress entrusted NTIA to administer several of the programs funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $65 billion investment in broadband access, affordability, and adoption, which is a historic opportunity to make significant progress to bridge the digital divide. 

“We believe the success of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s broadband programs will require an emphasis on affordability, digital inclusion, high-capacity networks, competition, and community engagement,” the Committee members wrote to NTIA. “To that end, we wanted to share our priorities as you work to establish these important programs that will help us ensure all Americans have access to high-speed affordable broadband.”

Among these priorities, the Committee members noted affordability as a major barrier to broadband access and urged NTIA to provide the most possible help to those struggling to afford broadband service by making low-cost offering requirements as widely available as feasible.  

The Committee members also stressed funding should prioritize projects that implement fiber networks and other technologies that can be scalable to meet the speeds that consumers will demand in the future. Additionally, the members wrote that NTIA should ensure engagement with stakeholders at the federal and state level is ongoing as the law is implemented and should reflect the needs of the communities lacking meaningful access and adoption of high-speed broadband service.  

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.