Lawmakers Request Agency Support in Broadband Rollouts

John Lamb/Getty Images

Democrats from the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help make good on broadband development with Bipartisan Infrastructure funding.

A slew of Democratic lawmakers sitting on the House Energy and Commerce Committee penned a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration voicing support for the broadband provisions included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, urging the agency to help implement these programs. 

Lawmakers wrote to NTIA Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson discussing the wide-ranging benefits of provisions outlined in the bill and the role his agency would play.

“We believe the success of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s broadband programs will require an emphasis on affordability, digital inclusion, high-capacity networks, competition and community engagement,” the letter reads. “To that end, we wanted to share our priorities as you work to establish these important programs that will help us ensure all Americans have access to high-speed affordable broadband.”

Some of the requests detailed in the letter are to promote digital inclusion activities within the NTIA and the prioritize broadband construction operations. Lawmakers argue for implementing high-speed fiber optic cables in communities that suffer from gaps in digital services, and, in doing so, ensuring all communities achieve reliable internet access. 

“NTIA should also do all it can to ensure no community is left behind, including by establishing clear rules preventing digital discrimination in deployment of the networks funded under any of the programs included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” the letter said. 

Closing the U.S.’s digital divide by making internet connection accessible to rural communities is a major part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goals. The Infrastructure bill allocated $65 billion in public funding to support this mission.