June 12, 2023
News Media Contact:
NTIA, Office of Public Affairs, email@example.com
By: Angela Thi Bennett
Affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service has become essential for individuals and communities in an increasingly digital world. To further the development of the upcoming phases of the Digital Equity Act, we issued a Request for Comment on March 2, 2023. The comment window closed on May 1, 2023, and a wide range of stakeholders from across the country submitted 252 written submissions. NTIA also hosted four public listening sessions reaching more than 400 stakeholders to obtain responses from those who were unable to provide written comments.
The comments and listening sessions will help inform the design and implementation of the $1.44 billion State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and the $1.25 billion Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program. All written comments received are available on regulations.gov.
These digital equity programs are focused on promoting adoption and meaningful use of the Internet among underrepresented communities and populations, including low-income households, veterans, aging individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, rural residents and others. Organizations representing these groups, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Silicon Harlem, UnidosUS, and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), hosted webinars to ensure that their communities were heard. This dedication from national organizations is further reflective of the commitment of stakeholders across the country to closing the digital divide.
By incorporating diverse perspectives, NTIA can ensure that these programs truly meet the needs of those most impacted by a lack of connection, and that our work will make meaningful progress toward achieving digital equity.
We appreciate and thank the individuals and organizations who contributed to this process by providing written submissions or participating in a virtual listening session. Your feedback is critical in helping NTIA gather invaluable input from a diverse set of stakeholders nationwide, promoting accountability in our work, and ensuring that we close the digital divide.
The insights shared in these comments will contribute to NTIA’s ongoing process of designing and implementing the Digital Equity Act programs, and working towards meeting the goal of ensuring everyone in America has access to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service, the devices to access that Internet, and the skills needed to compete in today’s ever-evolving global economy.
About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.