On April 6, staff from NTIA’s Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) held the third technical assistance webinar prior to the release of the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act broadband programs. On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This Act includes a significant investment of $65 billion to help close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to reliable, high speed, and affordable broadband.
Moderated by Evan Feinman, Deputy Associate Administrator for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD), NTIA, members of the OICG team presented on enabling conditions, giving details on important policies and practices that states and localities can pursue to accelerate new broadband deployment under the IIJA broadband programs. In addition to moderating the panelists below, Feinman provided a welcome and opening remarks for the webinar. Panelists included:
- Amanda Martin Herrera, Telecommunications Policy Analyst, NTIA
- Geoff Jordan, Supervisory Broadband Program Specialist – Infrastructure Division Chief, NTIA
Herrera presented an overview of policies and mechanisms that states and localities may adopt within IIJA broadband programs. These policies and mechanisms include potential right-of-way, buried deployment, and aerial deployment policies. Lastly, Herrera discussed the risks and regulatory or process considerations of policies such as dig once, right of way access, and pole attachments.
Jordan presented on asset mapping and management. This section covers the process of collecting, organizing, and tracking data on relevant infrastructure assets usable for broadband deployment. Jordan explained ideal asset mapping systems and how providers can leverage potential broadband assets. Potential assets include:
- Existing broadband networks
- Available conduit/duct systems and dark fiber
- Public ROW, including roads and bridges
- Utility infrastructure
- Anchor organizations
- Tall infrastructure
During the question-and-answer component of the webinar, panelists answered questions regarding a variety of programmatic and technical topics.
NTIA’s pre-NOFO technical assistance webinars are designed to help prospective applicants understand NTIA’s IIJA broadband grant programs and to assist applicants to prepare high quality grant applications. To view video recording, transcript, and presentation materials for our overview on enabling conditions, please visit the past events page. Please register for our next scheduled Pre-NOFO Technical Assistance webinar on digital equity and inclusion on April 27.