First maps, then challenges, then funding: FCC, NTIA announce broadband timeline

‘The subsequent eight weeks are important for our federal efforts to attach the unconnected,’ says assistant secretary of commerce

The Federal Communications Fee plans to launch newly up to date broadband maps on November 18, and the Biden administration has introduced that when these maps endure an preliminary problem interval, they’ll be used as the idea to allocate billions of {dollars} in federal broadband funding.

The FCC stated that it’s going to launch a “pre-production draft” of maps which element the extent of broadband deployments throughout the nation, including that “this model is the primary launch of the map required by the Broadband DATA Act and can start an ongoing, iterative course of that may enhance the information submitted by suppliers by incorporating challenges from people and different stakeholders.”

The maps are based mostly on supplier submissions and are suppose to replicate the state of deployments as of June 30, 2022. Earlier maps tracked broadband deployment on the census-block degree and thought of your complete block served if any places inside the block have been served; this masked unserved places inside the identical census block.

The FCC says the maps will probably be searchable by handle and that it’s going to settle for bulk challenges to the brand new maps from state and Tribal governments, in addition to challenges from people.

The Nationwide Telecommunications and Data Administration (NTIA) stated in the present day that it plans to permit an eight-week interval of challenges to the maps, then use the maps as they stand at that time as the idea for funding allocations for its Broadband Fairness, Entry, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is the automobile for distribution of greater than $42 billion in broadband funding that will probably be directed to U.S. states and territories.

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NTIA plans to make these funding bulletins by June 30, 2023.  

“The subsequent eight weeks are important for our federal efforts to attach the unconnected,” stated Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Data. “The FCC’s upcoming problem course of is likely one of the finest probabilities to make sure that we now have correct maps guiding us as we allocate main Web for All awards in 2023. I urge each state and neighborhood that believes it could provide enhancements to be a part of this course of in order that we will ship on the promise of reasonably priced, dependable high-speed Web service for everybody in America.”

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