Today the administration released their report on Rural Broadband Development. The 64-page report had feedback from NTIA, USDA, FCC and the White House and detailed efforts on broadband deployment and provided a snapshot into their plans for the upcoming few years. Streamlining, access to federal assets, and maximizing federal funding were all noted as initiatives underway. This includes NTIA’s recently announced initiative on mapping with a pilot project underway in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
While we are still reading and absorbing the report, it is worth acknowledging that we have accomplished a lot as a country to deliver better and faster broadband to more rural communities. Still, much work remains. That work will require effective partnerships between operators on the ground and initiatives that enable investment in deeply rural areas. That’s why NTCA applauds the American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report and its focus on key measures such as streamlining federal permitting processes, coordinating federal and state broadband support programs, and improving the quality of broadband data. America’s small, rural broadband providers thank Secretaries Perdue and Ross for their leadership in promoting greater rural broadband deployment and appreciate the work of the many agencies that have collaborated in furtherance of our shared national mission of universal connectivity.