News - June 29, 2023
Pickering and Clyburn: New ‘Broadband Ready City Checklist’ Will Speed Deployment of Historic Infrastructure Act Funding and Beyond
BroadLAND USA Campaign Releases ‘Broadband Ready City Checklist’ to help local communities build fast, attract competition and unleash investment
WASHINGTON D.C. – June 29, 2023 – In a historic announcement at the White House this week from President Joe Biden and The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), states, territories and the District of Columbia are set to receive a historic $42.45 billion in additional broadband funding. The Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, combined with other government and private investment, creates an unprecedented era for new network building.
To help local communities, both urban and rural, speed the deployment of new networks, the BroadLAND USA Campaign is releasing its “Broadband Ready City Checklist.” The Checklist reflects best practices used by the nation’s leading fiber-friendly communities, who have taken a pro-competition approach to reducing barriers to deployment while helping families, schools, libraries and small businesses connect to faster speeds at lower prices.
“This is a historic moment, with historic levels of network investment that have the power to reshape our economy to attract the jobs of the future,” said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS and Co-Chair of the BroadLAND USA Campaign. “Preparing for broadband infrastructure projects is critical, and the Broadband Ready City Checklist is designed to promote public and private sector partnerships that are proven to speed deployment, save money and connect communities to competition, innovation and investment.”
The Broadband Ready City Checklist, which was recently highlighted by several leading mayors at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, highlights five key areas for deployment success, including faster permitting, transparent review, and embracing new innovation.
“The Checklist helps ensure that broadband money goes to broadband projects,” said Mignon Clyburn, former FCC Commissioner and Co-Chair of the BroadLAND USA Campaign. “This must be a critical focus as we seek to bridge the digital divide and make ‘Internet for All’ a reality for families and small businesses who desperately need to be connected to a better future as soon as possible.”
Broadband Ready City Checklist
Broadband Money for Broadband Projects: Focus application fees to actual, objectively reasonable costs incurred by the jurisdiction to process an application. Limit right-of-way access fees to the actual, objectively reasonable cost.
Streamlined for Speed: Implement expedited or streamlined review of zoning and permitting applications that facilitate wireless and fiber deployment, including those that make efficient use of existing infrastructure pursuant to federal law.
Transparent Review: Establish procedures to allow all forms, applications and documentation related to a project to be reviewed and either approved or denied within 30 days after the application is submitted. Adopt efficient intake procedures, such as batch permitting and electronic submission.
Pro Innovation: Empower next generation industries. Allow the use of innovative deployment processes and construction techniques, such as micro-trenching, that speed deployment and cut construction time. Promote investment in faster, future-proof networks that are built to last and enable an “all of the above” deployment strategy.
Smart Restoration: It’s important that broadband money is spent on broadband projects. By supporting smart street restoration obligations that are proportional to the scope of the construction required for the deployment and set at the time of the application, communities will maximize the benefits of their broadband dollars.
About BroadLAND USA
Internet for all is our mission, competition is our guide. The BroadLAND USA Campaign is a project of INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association. Launched in 2021 by Chip Pickering and Mignon Clyburn, BroadLAND was a leading supporter of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, and champion for competition and innovation policies that drive the streaming revolution and speed deployment of faster, future-focused networks that bring greater choice and affordability. BroadLAND advocates for an “all of the above” network strategy that promotes wholesale access, fiber, wired, wireless, 5G, satellite technology and beyond.