Davidson Reemphasized the Administration’s Support for Flexibility to Meet Broadband Needs for Unserved and Underserved Communities
April 22, 2022
Contact: Jon Conradi
Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) executive director Richard T. Cullen released the following statement Friday following two virtual fireside chats with National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Administrator Alan Davidson, one hosted by the Brookings Institution entitled, “How close is the US to universal broadband?,” and one hosted by Protocol entitled, “How is the infrastructure rollout going — and what does it mean for tech?”
“Connect Americans Now (CAN) commends Administrator Davidson for NTIA’s continued commitment to ensuring states and broadband providers have the flexibility needed to implement technology best suited for their communities’ individual needs to maximize the positive impact, reach and cost-effectiveness of resources and programs targeted at eliminating the digital divide,” Cullen said. “Utilizing every tool in the nation’s toolkit will be critical to bringing us another step closer to fully and permanently eliminating the digital divide.”
During the Brookings Institution fireside chat, Davidson said, “The statute is fairly clear that we need to be technology neutral, and we know that it’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach, that again, different states are going to have very, very different needs and different communities within states … we’re also committed to any technology mix that will meet that broadband need and we also know that in some places that’s probably not going to be fiber, in some very hard to reach places, so states will be figuring this out.”
During the Protocol event, Davidson said, “The money will be allocated to states based on a formula that’s built into the statute about how many unserved locations they have. And, we just know that it’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all — for every state. The needs of a state like Rhode Island are totally different from the needs of a state like Montana, Alaska or New Mexico. And we expect that different states may implement different approaches to how they’re going to give out the grants. We expect that states might choose different ways of thinking about the technology mix within their states. That said, there are certain requirements also within the statute that we expect all states will meet, including, the statute lays out definitions for what’s an unserved location, what’s an underserved location, the need to address the unserved location first and foremost. And so, we expect the states to follow that.”
Connect Americans Now (CAN) is a broad-based coalition representing leading voices in agriculture, education, health care, veterans’ issues, technology, small business and more — committed to urgent action to completely eliminate the digital divide in every American community.
Watch the full Brookings Institution event HERE.
Watch the full Protocol event HERE.
Learn more about how federal agencies can maximize the positive impact of infrastructure law broadband programs HERE.
Learn more about Connect Americans Now HERE.