Connect Americans Now (CAN): NTIA Hearing Should Highlight Importance of Maximizing IIJA Broadband Resources Through a Technology Neutral Approach

Programs Must Prioritize Unserved Communities and Offer Providers Flexibility to Eliminate the Digital Divide for as Many People as Possible as Rapidly as Possible

Press Release

February 15, 2022

Contact: Jon Conradi

[email protected]

Washington, D.C. — Connect Americans Now (CAN) executive director Richard T. Cullen issued the following statement Tuesday ahead of a U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing, “Connecting America: Oversight of NTIA” on Wednesday.

“Connect Americans Now (CAN) encourages lawmakers and administration officials to use this hearing as a critical opportunity to highlight the importance of maximizing Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) broadband programs through a technology neutral approach that prioritizes unserved communities,” Cullen said. “A mixed-technology approach, that avoids picking technological winners and losers, will allow broadband providers the flexibility they need to connect the greatest number of people as quickly as possible by leveraging the tools best suited for a given area.”

“Such an approach would maximize the cost-effectiveness of broadband deployments, prevent overbuilding, help ensure people in unserved communities are not left behind and make more resources available for underserved communities at a time when access to an affordable and reliable broadband connection is more important than ever to daily life and success in the 21st century economy and classroom,” Cullen continued. “CAN applauds lawmakers and NTIA officials for their demonstrated commitment to expanding broadband connectivity and encourages policymakers to capitalize on the opportunity presented by this hearing to focus on maximizing the positive impact of federal resources to permanently eliminate the digital divide in every American community.”

CAN recently filed public comments, co-signed by 36 organizations, with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on the implementation of broadband programs authorized by the bipartisan IIJA. The letter encouraged NTIA to maximize the positive impact of the historic resources made available for broadband deployments by ensuring a technology neutral approach that allows providers flexibility to connect as many unserved people as possible in the most cost-effective and rapid manner. Co-signers of the letter included ACT | The App Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, ArcherDanielsMidland (ADM), BroadbandNow, College Possible, Corteva, Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, Digital Wish, Gigabit Libraries Network, Midwest Food Products Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Veteran Small Business Coalition, OCHIN, Student Veterans of America, USA Rice and Voices for Innovation.

Read CAN’s full comment letter to NTIA, co-signed by 36 organizations, on maximizing broadband program resources HERE.

Founded in 2017, 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.

Read more on CAN and our mission HERE.


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