NTIA Doing All it Can to ‘Pressure’ States to Allow Municipal Broadband for Infrastructure Builds

Agency head Alan Davidson says communities “play a huge role” in build deployment.

NTIA Doing All it Can to ‘Pressure’ States to Allow Municipal Broadband for Infrastructure Builds
Screenshot of Jade Piros de Carvalho, director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development, taken from BBLO event.

KEYSTONE, Colorado, May 24, 2022 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is using all available tools to “pressure” states to allow municipal broadband to be used for infrastructure builds stemming from funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, agency head Alan Davidson said Tuesday.

Several states have laws prohibiting municipal broadband networks, which through its recently released notice of funding the NTIA is recommending be waived for upcoming infrastructure builds.

NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson and Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark

“We are gonna press states to make sure they are doing everything they can do under their laws to make, to be including those,” said Davidson.

Davidson’s comments came during an appearance at the annual Mountain Connect conference in Keystone, Colorado, during which he engaged in a question and answer session with Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark following his agency’s release of its funding notices.

He stated during the event that via its notices of funding the NTIA will be flexible on program requirements for states so that maximum progress on infrastructure may be made, yet at the same time it will establish a baseline of federal rules for programs.

“The needs of different states are going to be different,” said Davidson.

He also clarified that the NTIA will be assigning employees to each state who will be responsible for overseeing fund distribution to their state, that notices of funding are not inclusive of all NTIA guidance such as on supply chain issues and additional assistance will come from the agency over time, and that for many broadband providers in order for their infrastructure projects to be economically stable over time both unserved and underserved populations must benefit from the infrastructure bill.

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