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NTIA Engages HBCU Students and Leadership on Internet Connectivity Challenges

June 29, 2020 by NTIA

The Minority Broadband Initiative (MBI) has been closely engaging with Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) presidents, chancellors, and students on Digital Economy related issues since its launch last November. Building and maintaining conversations with key stakeholders has been instrumental in understanding and exploring options for leveraging HBCU broadband infrastructure to connect neighboring communities of vulnerable populations, especially during the outbreak of COVID-19. 

In May and June, the MBI hosted a teleconference with 77 leaders from 57 HBCUs to discuss HBCU institutional approaches, successes, and remaining challenges as they confront the immediate response to COVID-19 and set plans for the longer-term recovery. The schools’ leaders identified an ongoing need for targeted federal funding for broadband access, digital literacy training, and continued close engagement with government at all levels to expand the relationship with the HBCU community and ensure the distinct needs of their institutions are well understood by decision makers.

NTIA Data Reveal Shifts in Technology Use, Persistent Digital Divide

June 10, 2020 by Evelyn Remaley, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

Today, NTIA is releasing results of its latest NTIA Internet Use Survey, which show that nearly 4 out of 5 Americans were using the Internet by November 2019, and are increasingly using a larger and more varied range of devices. Even as seniors and other demographic groups reported encouraging increases in Internet use, the data show that a persistent digital divide still exists based on income levels, age groups, and race, among other factors.

This is the fifteenth edition of the survey—the product of a partnership between NTIA and the U.S. Census Bureau that spans a quarter century—and it includes over 50 detailed questions about computer and Internet use administered to approximately 50,000 households across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The NTIA Internet Use Survey is a vital data source for policymakers, researchers, and advocates seeking to understand critical questions related to Internet use and help bridge the digital divide.

NTIA Adds 5 States to National Broadband Availability Map

June 03, 2020 by NTIA


NTIA today is announcing the addition of five states to its National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) program. Wisconsin, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, and New Hampshire join 13 other states who are partnering on this critical broadband data platform.

The NBAM is a geographic information system platform which allows for the visualization and analysis of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. This includes data from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Census Bureau, Universal Service Administrative Company, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ookla, Measurement Lab, and the state governments. The mapping platform provides users, including administrators from the 18 participating states, with access to the NBAM and its data to better inform broadband projects and funding decisions in their states.

With the addition of five new states, the NBAM is another step closer to creating a national platform that can help inform policymakers and expand Internet coverage across the United States. 

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NTIA Updates Comprehensive Guide to Federal Broadband Funding

April 24, 2020 by NTIA

NTIA has updated its BroadbandUSA website database of 57 federal broadband programs, spanning 14 federal agencies with billions of dollars for broadband grants, loans, and other resources. The site, created with the help of participating federal agencies, fulfills a goal set out in the Trump Administration’s American Broadband Initiative to make it easier for providers and stakeholders to find federal funding and permitting information.

NTIA Releases Spectrum Occupancy Data to Help Enable Successful Sharing in the Mid-Band

April 23, 2020 by NTIA

The Trump Administration is poised to make significant progress this year in efforts to promote new 5G opportunities through mid-band spectrum sharing. In January, NTIA reported considerable potential for spectrum sharing options in the 3450-3550 MHz band. This summer, years of work by NTIA engineers in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Defense will culminate in an FCC auction of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) licenses in the adjacent 3550-3650 MHz band.

Incumbent federal operations in both these bands are primarily military radars and include shipborne, airborne, and land-based systems. But limited information exists about actual usage of these bands – what’s sometimes known as spectrum occupancy data.

Today, NTIA’s research lab, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), published a summary report that presents data collected from a two-year effort to measure spectrum occupancy in these two key bands. Interim occupancy reports were provided to NTIA engineers throughout 2018 and 2019, helping to inform CBRS policy. Today’s publication makes a summary of the measurements available to the public for the first time.

Broadband is More Important Than Ever

April 10, 2020 by Doug Kinkoph, performing the delegated duties of the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information

Broadband is more important than ever, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been working to expand access and increase connectivity for all Americans.

We recently provided a one-year update to the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), the Trump Administration’s government-wide approach to connectivity challenges. Five new states – Nebraska, New Mexico, Michigan, Missouri, and Virginia – have joined the initial eight states participating in our National Broadband Availability Map.

We have seen increased participation in our State Broadband Leader’s Network, and our BroadbandUSA website now has the most comprehensive information on state resources available.

At NTIA, we have also worked with the FCC, businesses, and federal stakeholders to make sure our response to connectivity needs remains flexible. Most recently, NTIA supported Verizon’s application to the FCC for a Special Temporary Authority to access radio frequency spectrum due to increased commercial use.

We plan to continue our hard work to meet the needs of the American people.

Progress Report: American Broadband Initiative Turns One

March 25, 2020 by NTIA

Federal agencies have made significant progress across government to improve broadband access for Americans in the year following the launch of the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), said speakers in a recent NTIA BroadbandUSA webinar. The Trump Administration announced the launch of the initiative in February 2019 with the release of the Milestones Report, which outlined commitments made by federal agencies to improve broadband resources.

“Extending broadband to all parts of America is a major Administration priority, and the ABI is an important part of our overall strategy,” said Greg Watson, Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The White House plays a leading role on the ABI and is working to streamline the federal permitting process, leverage federal assets for deployment, and maximize the impact of federal funding, Watson said.

ISART 2020 Conference Set for Aug. 11-13 in Boulder

February 27, 2020 by NTIA

This year’s International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technology (ISART) conference will take place Aug. 11-13 in Boulder, Colorado. The conference will focus on what a “zero trust” network environment means from a 5G perspective. The symposium, which is co-sponsored by NTIA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will include panel discussions, presentations, tutorials, and demonstrations from subject matter experts from U.S. and international organizations. Visit the ISART website for more information.

Working with States to Solve the Broadband Challenge

February 12, 2020 by Doug Kinkoph, performing the delegated duties of the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information

NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network is a powerful forum for connecting local government, industry and stakeholders across the country that are focused on broadband activities. NTIA has spent many years building up these relationships, and recently updated our website with detailed information on state broadband offices and funding opportunities. The SBLN also holds regular meetings for states to improve funding coordination, align policies, and address barriers to collaboration across states and agencies.

Meetings with state broadband leaders helps us gather valuable, on-the-ground data about specific broadband challenges. This work is playing an important role as NTIA continues to build out the National Broadband Availability Map.

We’re pleased to report that five new states have joined the initial eight states participating in our mapping program. The new participating states are Nebraska, New Mexico, Michigan, Missouri and Virginia. The eight initial states are California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.

President’s FY21 Budget Boosts Spending for Spectrum Management, 5G Security

February 10, 2020 by NTIA

America’s technology leadership in secure and reliable 5G communications is critical to the nation’s economic and international competitiveness. Delivering on these goals, President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget calls for increased funding to modernize the nation’s spectrum management system; improve the security of our telecommunications infrastructure; and upgrade advanced communications research.

The budget would spend an additional $25 million to modernize the spectrum management system to accommodate advanced technologies. With these resources, NTIA will create a secure, flexible, and automated spectrum management system that would improve with the integrity and confidentiality of data; reduce “white space” between spectrum assignments; reengineer business processes; and automate workflows.

The budget also would add $3 million to for the Advanced Communications Research program at the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, NTIA’s research lab in Boulder, Colorado. The funds would be used to replace equipment the lab uses for research and testing of 5G technologies to help the United States transition from 4G LTE. To improve NTIA’s ability to manage supply chain risks to our nation’s telecommunications infrastructure, the budget calls for an additional $2.1 million and six new positions.

Overall, the President’s FY2021 budget request for NTIA is $72.2 million.