NTIA Head Reiterates Importance of Broadband Maps for Fund Disbursal

Alan Davidson applauded the FCC’s effort in getting better broadband maps.

NTIA Head Reiterates Importance of Broadband Maps for Fund Disbursal
Photo of Alan Davidson and Dr. Nicole Turner Lee, by Ashlan Gruwell.

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2022 – Alan Davidson, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said Monday that effective spending of federal funding is only possible with better broadband maps.

“We can’t do this properly without better mapping data,” Davidson said at the 18th annual State of the Net conference. The NTIA will be disbursing $42.5 billion from the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act to the states for broadband infrastructure, but it requires an overview of areas that need it most.

Davidson’s comment comes nearly a week after the Federal Communications Commission Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said early last month that the FCC’s improved map could come as early as this summer.

While the FCC oversees improving broadband maps to help close the digital divide, Davidson noted that the NTIA will be working closely with the FCC in this endeavor. “We at the NTIA will be relying on the FCC’s maps, but we’re coordinating with them closely on that,” Davidson said at the Monday event.

Davidson spoke enthusiastically about the developments in FCC mapping, stating the agency’s most recent effort is different this time around due to “both a clear process and resources behind making those maps better.” The agency has been using additional mapping methods – instead of relying largely on ISP information – including crowdsourcing the data from Americans.

In a panel that took place before Davidson’s speech, Paul Garnett, the CEO and founder of The Vernonburg group, a consulting firm with the aim of closing the digital divide, echoed Davidson’s support of the FCC mapping. Comparing the state of America’s mapping progress on a global scale, he said, “at least we do have data, it’s pretty granular, and it’s reported on twice a year by operators.”

Spectrum coordination meetings to begin this month

Davidson also spoke of the recently announced Spectrum Coordination Initiative between the NTIA and the FCC, .

Davidson said Monday that he and FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel have been in constant communication about the partnership and said the first formal meeting concerning the initiative will be in March and will take place monthly after that.

“It’s hard work to do spectrum coordination, but we are going to do it,” Davidson said.

Popular Tags