NTIA Urging Partnerships with Local Broadband Officials for Infrastructure Money

The NTIA held a webinar urging local partnerships for applicants of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act.

NTIA Urging Partnerships with Local Broadband Officials for Infrastructure Money
Screenshot of NTIA head Alan Davidson in January, via C-SPAN

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2022 – Officials from the Commerce agency tasked with distributing billions in funding from the infrastructure bill urged applicants to build partnerships with their local governments, including and especially with the state broadband offices.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration met Wednesday to discuss the importance of partnerships with applicants from across the country to prepare them to secure a portion of the $42.5 billion portioned from the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law in mid-November.

The officials made it clear that potential applicants should get to know their local officials and especially their state broadband officer before moving forward with their applications, as that will be the most important partnership for those in need of IIJA funding. The officials noted that if an applicant is having a hard time finding their state broadband official, the list with contact information is posted on NTIA’s website.

The state broadband officers, the officials said, will be working closely with the NTIA to distribute funds effectively, making applicants’ relationships with state broadband officers even more crucial for people trying to benefit from the funding.

Beyond urging relationships with state broadband officers, the NTIA also supports applicants endeavoring to create relationships with other state agencies like state planning departments and school boards. Furthermore, the webinar also encouraged the partnership between applicants and entities that may have already been working to provide broadband to a particular area.

An agriculture department official, who appeared at a Broadband Breakfast event earlier this month, similarly urged applicants for ReConnect program money to build relationships with tribal communities to successfully roll-out broadband in those areas.

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