The Benton Institute for Broadband and Society has put together a nice list of funding expectations for 2022 and some forecasts for 2023-24. Here’s just the start…
Having waited patiently for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now people want to know what happens next—when will we all get our broadband? For now, the action shifts from Congress to key federal agencies that will implement the broadband provisions of the new law. Our friends at Brookings recently pointed out that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act “represents a longer-term patient approach to rebuilding American competitiveness through infrastructure.” The law makes our biggest investment yet in closing the digital divide, an investment measured in years, not weeks—and an approach much more holistic than throwing money at a problem. In the short term, here are the agencies we expect to be busy making sure the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act lives up to its promise.
What To Expect This Year
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act did not create the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, but the law instructs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce to allow grantees more time to deploy broadband networks and help more people get online. Congress also added $2 billion in funding to the program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, created the grant program, setting aside $980 million for awards. In September, NTIA announced it had received more than 280 applications requesting over $5 billion in support. NTIA expects to complete its review, selection of successful applicants, and award processing by November 29, 2021. NTIA expects the earliest start date for awards to be December 13, 2021.