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Rodgers and Latta Urge NTIA to Prioritize Unserved and Rural Areas for Broadband Deployment 


02.16.21

Washington D.C.– House Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Republican Subcommittee Leader for Communications and Technology Bob Latta (R-OH) sent a letter today urging the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to prioritize unserved and rural areas for broadband deployment.

In the letter, they write:

“We appreciate the work that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is undertaking to quickly stand up the new grant programs established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that will help fund broadband deployment in rural, tribal, and other remote parts of the country that remain unserved. As NTIA builds on the Congress’ recent bipartisan actions to close the digital divide, this endeavor is critical to helping enable more people in these unserved areas access the broadband connectivity they need to support jobs, telehealth, online learning, and other vital activities.

[…]

“As NTIA prepares to announce the requirements and allowed uses of grant funding to implement this program consistent with the law, we want to underscore two related aspects of program administration that are crucial to ensure that infrastructure funding is targeted effectively to the communities and consumers that are most in need of broadband access.”

Rodgers and Latta emphasized:

“First, any funding that will be used for broadband infrastructure deployment must be prioritized to areas with the greatest number of unserved households.

[…]

“Second, we request that NTIA incorporate a challenge process into the Program… to ensure that any broadband deployment funding is properly targeted to truly unserved areas.”

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

NOTE: This letter follows the release by House Energy and Commerce Republicans of their Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda, a comprehensive package of 28 bills that aim to turbocharge public and private investment by promoting new and upgraded infrastructure deployments, boosting competition, streamlining permitting processes, facilitating broadband deployment on federal lands, and closing the digital divide in both rural and urban areas.

Letter