Fact of the Week: Of $6.7 Billion Paid Out for Broadband-Specific Programs in FY 2021, 76 Percent Went to Digital Inclusion and Adoption
Source: “2022 Federal Broadband Funding Report: Investing in Internet for All,” (National Telecommunications and Information Administration, May 2023).
Commentary: The ACCESS BROADBAND Act directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to report data on federal broadband funding. To fulfil this requirement, NTIA released the “2022 Federal Broadband Funding Report,” which summarizes and breaks down federal broadband funding data from FY 2021.
Of the agencies that submitted data for the report, NTIA found that through 9 agencies and 37 programs, a total of $6.7 billion was outlayed (which refers to federal funds that were paid out, not just promised to an entity) for broadband-specific programs in FY 2021. Of that, a whopping 75.6 percent went to digital inclusion and adoption rather than deployment, planning, or mapping. This represents an overall shift in the broadband landscape as more programs prioritize encouraging broadband adoption through means such as advancing digital literacy and defraying the cost of Internet subscriptions for consumers.