News - May 13, 2022

INCOMPAS: Competition-Focused NTIA Infrastructure Rules Can Speed Deployment of Faster, More Affordable Broadband

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 13, 2022) -- Today the NTIA and the US Department of Commerce announced their “Internet for All” program and released rules that will help guide best practices for the $65 billion broadband investment made in the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. 

The NTIA’s NOFOs released today covers the BEAD program, Middle Mile and Digital Equity. 

In response, Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS and co-chair of the BroadLAND “Internet for All” campaign, released the following statement: 

“Competition works and monopolies fail, which is why we are encouraged to see NTIA put forward broadband rules that are future focused on speeds, encourage wholesale and streamline deployment at the local level. 

“Fiber is the fuel that powers an all-of-the above broadband strategy as wired, wireless, 5G and satellite broadband infrastructure all depend on it. Communities that install anything less than future-proof networks will be wasting tax dollars and leaving their schools and small businesses behind. We are glad to see NTIA mirror other agencies in their insistence that government funds not be wasted on obsolete networks of the past that simply do not have the bandwidth to power jobs and industries of tomorrow.” 

“Competition is a permanent affordability solution, and it’s also the law. We are encouraged to see NTIA recommending incentives for wholesale competition that ensure government funds do not build new monopolies. Wholesale access will open a world of choices and opportunities for local small businesses looking to save money and grow.” 

“The American people have made it clear they want better, faster, more affordable broadband -- and they want it now. NTIA’s rules help streamline the deployment of new networks by encouraging pole access, dig once and reasonable cost provisions. This is a win-win for new builders and local communities, which need faster networks built fast.” 

“I wish to commend Secretary Gina Raimondo for her commitment to competition and Administrator Alan Davidson and the NTIA staff for their tremendous work, and issuing the NOFOs prior to the Congressional deadline. Broadband infrastructure funding presents a historic opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and build a better, faster, more affordable future for all Americans. While important details remain, we look forward to continuing to work with NTIA, all federal agencies and state and local governments on bipartisan solutions to help ensure every American family gets connected to the internet and the benefits of competition.”