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Celebrating National Digital Inclusion Week and Efforts to Close the Digital Divide

October 7, 2022

The Internet is an essential communications tool that enables access to work, education, healthcare, and justice. Once a luxury, access to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet is now a necessity.    

Despite its importance, millions of people in America cannot afford Internet service. Millions have no Internet access at all. And many who do, still face slow connection speeds and inadequate service.

This week, NTIA is celebrating National Digital Inclusion Week and the people who are working every day to connect all of America with affordable, reliable high-speed Internet. In our blog, we analyzed Internet Use Survey data on the disparities around Internet adoption and how people view affordability. On social media, we highlighted how people across the country are addressing digital equity challenges.

The theme of this year’s Digital Inclusion Week is “Turning Our Moment into Movement,” as advocates for digital inclusion prepare to make use of unprecedented federal investments in connectivity. Digital inclusion is a core part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. We know that a wire to a family’s home doesn’t help them if they can’t afford the connection. And an affordable connection isn’t enough if they don’t have the tools to succeed online.

Funding Programs

New Analysis Shows Offline Households Are Willing to Pay $10-a-Month on Average for Home Internet Service, Though Three in Four Say Any Cost is Too Much

October 6, 2022
Affordability is a core part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. We know that access to an Internet connection isn’t true access unless everyone can afford that connection. During Digital Inclusion Week, we are analyzing NTIA’s Internet Use Survey data that highlight disparities in Internet adoption. Our previous blog discussed some of the barriers facing the 24 million households that do not use the Internet at home.

Scoring Big on your Middle Mile Application Series: Budget Information

September 28, 2022

The September 30, 2022, application deadline for the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program is just days away. Our aim is to help applicants submit complete, informed, and high-quality applications. This post focuses on the Budget Information section.

So here’s how to Be Complete and Score Big!

Budget Information

The Budget Information section is the third major section of the application. It is where applicants will have the opportunity to showcase their financial success as well as the sustainability of their project.

Another component relevant to this section is the “Letter of Credit.” The Letter of Credit is not required at this point in the application process, but a letter from a bank, whereby the bank commits to making a Letter of Credit available if your application is selected for award, is required. The objective is to review financials that show success and a pro forma to demonstrate that this project has sufficient resources to complete the project.

Scoring Big on Your Middle Mile Application Series: Project Information

September 28, 2022

Who Are Middle Mile Providers?

Middle mile service may be offered by a wide range of entities, from traditional retail Internet Service Providers, large technology companies that do not offer retail Internet service at all, or electric utilities that increasingly recognize their capability to transform the communications market. Regardless of who deploys and operates them, middle mile connections are crucial to connectivity and competition.

The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program is a $1 billion program funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure. If you’re reading this, you’re likely looking for tips on how to “score big” as you finalize application ahead of the September 30, 2022, deadline.

Project Information

The Project Information section is the second major section of the middle mile grant application. This portion provides space for applicants to describe the details and timeline of their project. It includes an executive summary, a “level of need narrative”, and a description of government and community involvement.

Scoring Big on Your Middle Mile Application Series: Understanding Review and Applicant Information

September 28, 2022

Why Middle Mile Matters

Middle mile infrastructure bridges the gap between where information is stored and the people interacting with it – it's an essential part of reliable, high-speed Internet access. Because of the nation’s middle mile networks, anyone in America can transfer data across the world, enabling community, competition, learning, and well-being.

Middle mile infrastructure may carry traffic via undersea cables that stretch to the farthest American territories, or it may “backhaul” wireless traffic for an antenna mounted on a wireless network tower to the provider’s wired network through fiber-optic connections. It may bring high-speed Internet to previously unserved Tribal or Native lands or may simply enable connectivity in urban neighborhoods where no connections were previously available.

The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program is a competitive, $1 billion program funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure. The application period for the program is currently open, and eligible entities are encouraged to apply to participate in the program. The application window will close on September 30, 2022. 

C-SCRIP Hosts First Webinar on NTIA’s High-Speed Internet Grant Programs and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

September 20, 2022

The Communications Supply Chain Risk Information Partnership (C-SCRIP) held its first webinar for stakeholders on Monday, August 8. This program featured discussions on: 

Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, NTIA is responsible for distributing $48 billion to help close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to reliable, affordable high-speed Internet service. Berke explained the programs and suggested that interested attendees sign up for upcoming virtual Internet for All Office Hours. He recommended that they work closely with state broadband offices to stay in the loop on the high-speed Internet grant programs.

NTIA Launches Updated Federal Broadband Funding Guide

September 19, 2022

Access to the Internet plays a critical role, serving as a catalyst for work, education, essential services, and more as part of routines in everyday life. But, even today, for many Americans, access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet is still out of reach. 

The federal government operates a number of programs to make funding available to States, local leaders, and other eligible recipients who are engaged in high-speed internet-related activities for their communities. 

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been working to expand access and increase connectivity across the U.S. through the Internet for All effort by increasing awareness of federal funding available for closing the digital divide. 

As part of that mission, NTIA released an update to the Federal Funding site, which serves as a comprehensive, “one-stop shop” of resources for potential applicants seeking federal broadband funding. 

The NTIA-FCC MOU: What A New Era of Spectrum Coordination Will Look Like

September 13, 2022

The recent update of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and NTIA memorializes a shared commitment between the two agencies to renew a partnership critical to jointly managing the nation’s spectrum resources.   

Now the work begins to translate this agreement into consistent, meaningful practice. Given the scope of the document, there is quite a lot for the FCC and NTIA to do to fulfill the potential of the MOU.  

The agreement reflects the need for the two national spectrum managers to share information and communicate frequently and effectively. The agreement’s major provisions echo and anchor the goals of the Spectrum Coordination Initiative announced this past February.   

The MOU promotes: