Broadband technology enables nearly every part of online activity, including the delivery of government services, but many communities lack access to broadband networks. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill provides over $65 billion to bridge that digital divide.
- John Bailey, nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is getting most of the funding to administer the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program and the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program, has a major capacity issue but is bringing on more staff.
- Bailey said governors will have to compete for funds and put together plans with broadband maps and areas where speeds are insufficient.
- The pandemic showed how essential connectivity is for accessing tools like online learning, job training and government assistance applications, said Bailey.