WASHINGTON— Following the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) release today of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from Joe Kane, director of broadband and spectrum policy at ITIF:
The Notice of Funding Opportunity is a concrete step toward implementing the BEAD program.
NTIA has prudently prioritized serving unserved areas and provided a challenging process to ensure limited funds are not spent duplicating existing deployments. The NOFO also contains important mechanisms to prevent duplication of funding between the several broadband federal subsidy programs available.
The NOFO recognizes the importance of ensuring that grantees have the “competence, managerial, and financial capacity” to deploy high-quality broadband. This assessment will be critical to making the most of limited BEAD funds.
The devil will be in the details, but NTIA has taken a thoughtful approach that should increase the probability that the $42.45 billion it allocates can close the digital divide.