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Broadband Notice of Funding Availability Seeks to Residuum Requirements with Flexibility

Alan Davidson says NOFO requires that grant recipients offer both low-cost service options and middle-class affordability plans.



KEYSTONE, Colorado, May 24, 2022 – The National Telecommunications and Data Administration is attempting  to balance stakeholder demands to ensure new entrants to the broadband marketplace, while making certain the agency is a good shepherd of the federal funds, the administrator of the U.Southward. Section of Commerce agency said here Tuesday.

Alan Davidson,
the banana secretary of Commerce responsible for the agency that is spending the lion’south share of federal broadband coin, said that NTIA will consider affordability to be an of import consideration in making awards.

In a give-and-take with Broadband Breakfast editor and publisher
Drew Clark, the pair reviewed the NTIA’south guidelines governing three new broadband grant programs that will see more $45 billion in federal funding dispersed over the next few years.

Three Notices of Funding Opportunity were released on May xiii, 2022. The largest one is for the Broadband Disinterestedness, Admission, and Deployment plan, a $42.5-billion-dollar program aimed at expanding last-mile, high-speed Net access across the Usa.

Davidson referred to the released NOFO equally the “starting gun” signaling for states to begin the sprint toward making funding and infrastructure deployment plans to connect local unserved and underserved communities to futureproof Internet connections.

Photo of Alan Davidson at press briefing after his remarks at Mountain Connect by Drew Clark

Less than a week since the release of the notices, 25 states and territories have already submitted Letters of Intent to participate in the program, with 35 states and territories stating they intend to submit an initial proposal to access a share of the federal funding by the July 18, 2022, deadline.

Procedure for states to apply

The NOFO requires that grant recipients offer both low-cost service options and eye-class affordability plans over the resulting infrastructure. The NOFO offers states examples of dissimilar affordability plans to model, while likewise giving states the flexibility to define what can exist deemed “affordable” within their borders.

Further, BEAD requires robust stakeholder date, and gives preference to grant applicants pursuing public-private partnerships, as well as those which demonstrate they accept coordinated with local and Tribal Governments, and community-based organizations, in the creation of their applications.

In an effort to eternalize economical development and the creation of new jobs inside the United States, the NOFO includes a “Buy America” statute, which requires grant recipients purchase 55% of all network components being used from American manufacturers. During the keynote, Davidson reiterated that the NTIA will prioritize the deployment of fiber infrastructure over other technologies, including cablevision, DSL, and satellite.

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Davidson explained that increased land and federal oversight should exist expected to ensure federal broadband funds get to the localities where they are most needed. Oversight requirements are largely spelled out in the statute, but grant recipients can look more post-honor reporting requirements than have been necessitated by previous federal programs.

Davidson’s presentation raised some questions surrounding well-known manufacture supply chain problems, the shortage of cobweb technicians nationally, and the issue of BEAD grant dollars existence considered taxable income. Davidson replied to the raised concerns stating that the NTIA is eager to hear about stakeholder’s hurting points, and that he predicts there volition be an ongoing process of working with states on these issues.


Sean Gonsalves: NTIA Banana Secretary Alan Davidson Dishes on Bead at Mountain Connect 2022

The NTIA will press states to not lock out publicly-owned broadband project. If they exercise, they must disclose why.



Mountain Connect 2022 got a big kick off this morning time in Keystone, Colorado with a Q&A discussion between National Telecommunications and Information Administration Banana Secretary Alan Davidson and Broadband Breakfast CEO, Editor and Publisher Drew Clark.

Davidson provided a broad overview of the newly released Notice of Funding Opportunity for the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access & Deployment program, which set up the table for the multitude of break-out sessions that attracted a who’s who of broadband providers, vendors, policy-makers and vendors.

Under the Bead plan, each of the 50 states will be eligible to receive a minimum of $100 million to expand loftier-speed Cyberspace access, though most states will receive hundreds of millions more as additional funding volition be allocated to states based on a formula that takes into business relationship how many unserved households are in each state.

Most states on board for Dewdrop

Davidson said that 25 states accept already submitted their Letter of Intent to seek BEAD funding. In all, 35 states accept indicated they will also participate in the plan so far as NTIA works with the other xv states and territories to encourage them to take advantage of the largest ever federal investment in broadband.

While Davidson touted the unprecedented opportunity at present being made bachelor to states to shut the digital divide, Clark did probe him on several concerns effectually the requirements of the BEAD application process that a number of broadband advocates and pocket-sized- to midsize Internet Service Providers take raised since the NOFO was released on May 13.

One question in item Clark raised was the alphabetic character of credit requirement that subgrantees must acquire to authorize for funding. A number of ISPs and local officials interested in municipal broadband projects are saying the requirement is onerous and may prove to be a disincentive for new entrants into the broadband market now dominated past the large monopoly ISPs.

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Davidson noted his office has been hearing those concerns and that the NTIA may arrange the rules based on that feedback.

NTIA volition encourage states to include publicly-owned networks

We likewise had a chance to enquire Davidson a question: Would states with preemption laws that prevent or erect barriers to municipalities, cooperatives, nonprofits and other public entities from accessing Dewdrop funds be disqualified from the BEAD program?

Davidson said the NTIA volition press states to not lock out publicly-owned broadband projects and if they advise to do so they must disclose why. Only, he stopped curt of saying that states with such preemption laws would be butterfingers from participating in the Dewdrop program.

However, Davidson and Clark both, pointed to the specific linguistic communication in the NOFO that says:

  • NTIA strongly encourages Eligible Entities (states) to waive all such (preemption) laws for purposes of the Program. If an Eligible Entity does not practice so, the Eligible Entity must place all such laws in its Initial Proposal and draw how the laws volition be applied in connection with the competition for subgrants. Such Eligible Entity must, in its Terminal Proposal, disembalm each unsuccessful application affected by such laws and describe how those laws impacted the decision to deny the application.

Internet for all?

While Davidson did not explicitly say NTIA would wholeheartedly accept Bead applications from states with preemptions laws that lock out public sector providers, information technology seems articulate the NTIA volition non deny Dewdrop funds to states with preemption laws that violate both the letter and spirit of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which authorized the Bead program.

The BEAD NOFO and Davidson’s remarks were a major topic of discussion at the dozens of breakout sessions held later in the twenty-four hour period, covering everything from funding new broadband investments and community development to community broadband case studies and emerging technologies.

Multiple NTIA officials claimed Bead is intended to connect all Americans and, in fact, the Biden admininstration calls it theCyberspace for All intiative. However, neither Congress nor the Biden administration have a program to ensure all depression-income urban households are connected.

The 3-day conference will conclude on Wednesday with that terminal day being kicked-off by a Q&A with U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper.

Spotter our Connect This! livesteam discussing the implications of the BEAD NOFO here.

This commodity originally appeared on the Establish for Local Self Reliance’s Municipal Broadband projection on May 24, 2022, and is reprinted with permission.

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NTIA Broadband Official Scott Forest Joins Ready as Vice President of Customs Engagement

Woods had been the inaugural Director of the Role of Minority Broadband Initiatives at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.



Photo of Scott Woods

KEYSTONE, Colorado, May 24, 2024 – Ready appear that
Scott D. Forest,
who had been the countdown Director of the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives in the administration’s Role of Internet Connectivity and Growth, will join the company as Vice President of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships on June iii. He will likewise open an office for Ready in Washington, D.C.

Ready produces Broadband.Money, a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

“Ready is a great company and its software product ReadyBOSS is one that volition revolutionize the approach for developing and managing broadband projects in accordance with grant rules,” said Woods. “Information technology’s the best way to make the nigh out of all of the celebrated funding that’s out there.”

While at the NTIA, Scott as well served every bit a principal liaison betwixt the BroadbandUSA and OIGC plan offices, and key strategic partners and external stakeholder groups. This included representatives from land and local governments, telecommunications companies, for-profit and non-turn a profit corporations, and colleges and universities.

Woods is a broadband funding, implementation and stakeholder date adept and a key member of the OIGC leadership team responsible for implementing the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 grant programs and the historic $65 billion broadband funding plan authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

“There are few, if whatsoever, people in this country with Scott’s experience in helping communities close the digital divide,” said Set Co-Founder
Mike Faloon. “Our goal is to utilise the Set up platform to amplify Scott and then that whatever community or operator tin can accept admission to him and his unique insights to guide them on their broadband journey.”

Wood received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Urban Studies from Morehouse College; a Main of Arts in Public Policy (G.P.P.) from American University; and Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Howard University School of Law.

Fix is a visitor that makes the Prepare Dominate software system. Information technology enables internet service providers and local communities to use interactive maps to create proposed broadband coverage areas and and so to create respective grant applications. It also helps applicants to find match majuscule. The system also helps ISPs manage subscribers, plans and revenue, monitor and manage their networks, and seamlessly offer Affordable Connectivity Benefits. And it helps grant awardees manage their extensive reporting requirements.

The Fcc Wants School Buses To Get Wi Fi