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FBA, NTCA Publish Broadband Infrastructure Playbook

Fiber optic
(Image credit: Pixabay)

WASHINGTON—The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association have released the “Broadband Infrastructure Playbook,” a comprehensive guide designed to assist state broadband offices make efficient and effective use of federal funds made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). 

The IIJA is the largest single federal broadband investment in history with $65 billion in funding, covering four key areas: (1) deployment of future-proof connectivity to all Americans; (2) broadband subsidies for low-income users; (3) accelerating the country’s progress toward addressing both broadband access and adoption challenges; and (4) funding to address digital training and literacy.

The guide, which was developed in cooperation with global telecom consulting firm Cartesian, outlines and recommends broadband grant program structures consistent with IIJA objectives and identifies successful examples from the high-performing state broadband programs over the past several years.

“We are on the precipice of once-in-a-generation funding and we need to help make the most of this broadband moment,” said Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA CEO. “Our goal with the Broadband Infrastructure Playbook is to provide a valuable resource to the states and territories by outlining key parts of the IIJA, sharing best practices from state broadband programs that have worked well in the past, and seeking to promote consistency and the best possible results out of this process. If done right, the IIJA could provide a digital foundation for economic growth and innovation across the country through infrastructure that is built to last.”

The FBA, NTCA and Cartesian will host a webinar focused on the Playbook and the issues it covers this week

“America’s future depends on universal connectivity to essential, reliable, robust infrastructures and with the rapid expansion of the global digital economy, broadband infrastructure is now more critical than ever,” said Gary Bolton, president and CEO at the Fiber Broadband Association. “The industry now has the resources, resolve and direction to achieve this goal. The Fiber Broadband Association and NTCA have teamed together to help ensure the states and broadband providers have the tools they need to best leverage this opportunity so that everyone, everywhere can access a brighter, more equitable future.”

Largely focused on the $42.45 billion NTIA Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment (BEAD) program, the Broadband Infrastructure Playbook shares best practices, guidance on the application process, grant program design insight and recommendations on how to best run a successful state grant program.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.