On Wednesday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the formal launch of the $1.5 billion Innovation Fund, an initiative designed to support the development of open and interoperable 5G and future generation technologies. Funded by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, this historic investment aims to drive wireless innovation, strengthen supply chain resilience, and unlock opportunities for new and emerging companies to compete in the global telecommunications market. With the publication of our first Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), NTIA is moving one step closer to achieving a diverse, sustainable, and competitive wireless supply chain.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Federal Register Notice to seek expressions of interest from individuals who would like to serve on the Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority Board or Board). Prospective candidates must have expertise or experience in at least one of the following areas: public safety, network, technical, and financial. The FirstNet Authority Board is responsible for providing overall policy direction and oversight of FirstNet to ensure that the nationwide network continuously meets the needs of public safety.
The 15-member FirstNet Authority Board includes 12 non-permanent members, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Attorney General of the United States, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. One of the 12 non-permanent members to the FirstNet Authority Board resigned prior to the end of his term. The Secretary of Commerce will appoint an individual to complete that Board member’s term through September 2024.
The Internet for All initiative is a critical component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s overall strategy to build a more dynamic economy. It will enable American workers and businesses to compete on the global stage and generate new economic opportunities in overlooked communities throughout the country. Internet for All will create as many as 150,000 jobs nationwide – but to maximize the economic potential of this initiative, manufacturers and Internet service providers will need to build right here in America.
As President Biden said in his State of the Union Address this week, “[w]e’re making sure that every community has access to affordable, high-speed Internet...And when we do these projects, we’re going to Buy American.” The president made clear that while Buy America has been the law of the land since 1933, too many administrations have found ways to skirt its requirements.
We will not.
The iron and steel, manufactured products, and construction materials needed to deliver affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service to millions of Americans is an opportunity to create jobs and opportunities right here in America. That’s why NTIA believes that if it can be Made in America, it should be made in America – and it’s why we’ll strictly enforce ‘Build America, Buy America’ (BABA) requirements outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Internet for All Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs).
NTIA ended 2022 by awarding $304 million in funding to every state, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, for planning how to best deploy networks to connect everyone in America to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.
States are set to receive a historic influx of funding to expand high-speed Internet service thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The planning grants awarded in 2022 are down payments so the states can prepare to use the coming billions in broadband funding effectively.
Each state has different needs and unique challenges in bridging the digital divide, and our planning grants recognize the importance of flexibility. Still, there are broad trends driving the ways states are putting this money to use.
In order to meet the urgency of this moment to connect the unconnected, we continue to target June 30 as the date by which we will allocate each state and territory’s BEAD Program funding for high-speed Internet service. NTIA and the FCC have worked closely with states to assist them in the process of improving the National Broadband Map to achieve this goal.
We’ve held one-on-one sessions with dozens of states and territories throughout this process, as well as hosted twice weekly office hours with the FCC to answer questions from state broadband offices. We’ve also engaged with more than a dozen grassroots advocacy organizations representing consumers and underrepresented populations to inform them and their membership on how to submit challenges.
States, counties and other organizations have been productive partners in the process to improve the FCC’s map. And we know their engagement is producing a better map. The FCC already has received over 1 million challenges to provider reported availability data and has updated the map’s underlying Fabric to add more than 1 million additional locations. Through this work, the map is becoming more accurate and will continue to get incrementally better.
By: Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson
NTIA is like a start-up within the federal government, despite being nearly 45 years old. We’ve had the explosive growth of a new organization in my first year at the helm: Over one third of current NTIA staff was not here when I took the oath of office in January. While NTIA is still a small agency by government standards, we punched above our weight class in 2022. We delivered on programs to improve Internet connectivity while also notching big wins on spectrum policy, international standards, and other important tech policy issues.
On broadband, NTIA spent 2022 making down payments on our future investments in connecting everyone in America to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service. And those down payments weren’t small – we've awarded $2.3 billion in funding to nearly 300 entities as we advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of closing the digital divide. Highlights from the year included:
NTIA’s Communications Supply Chain Risk Information Partnership (C-SCRIP) has launched its new website, in time for Infrastructure Security Month in November. This updated site is a one-stop shop for resources on improving the security of your organization’s supply chain, both physical and digital.
The new site offers the following:
- Supply chain security resources;
- Dedicated page to 5G and Beyond technologies;
- Dedicated page to NTIA’s Internet for All programs;
- More information about federal grant programs, free training sessions, and events;
- RSS subscription for regular updates; and
- Mailing list sign-up for additional information, including the bi-monthly C-SCRIP Update.
C-SCRIP – created by NTIA at the request of Congress – brings together the federal government, telecommunications companies and equipment suppliers to share information about supply chain security risks.
Keeping the nation’s critical infrastructure safe is important to our national and economic security. The C-SCRIP information-sharing program demonstrates NTIA’s commitment to assisting small, medium, and rural communications companies in identifying and managing threats to their operations.
Any questions or comments about the C-SCRIP program may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One year ago today, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which tasks the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with administering grant programs totaling more than $48 billion to connect everyone in America to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service. It’s a historic investment, providing resources to close the digital divide on an unprecedented scale. Because of these efforts, families across the U.S. will have expanded access to high-speed Internet service and digital skills training that will improve education, jobs, and healthcare.
The Internet For All initiative is moving with speed to deliver on the Infrastructure Act’s goal. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in the first year, which includes:
Marking one year of expanding high-speed Internet access in minority communities, NTIA’s Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI) today released its inaugural Annual Report. This report, required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA), details OMBI’s accomplishments over the office’s first year, identifies barriers to high-speed Internet access in minority communities, and outlines the office’s role in achieving digital equity across the United States.
Established in August 2021 within NTIA’s Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG), OMBI is the Department of Commerce’s leader in promoting equitable broadband access and adoption at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and their surrounding anchor communities. Given their decades of investment in minority students and their communities, these institutions are effective catalysts for the expansion of high-speed Internet service.
“The first OMBI Annual Report marks a milestone in our mission to address high-speed Internet deployment challenges in vulnerable communities,” said NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson. “The newly created Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives will lead the way to ensure that these critical anchor institutions and the communities they serve have access to high-speed, affordable Internet service.”