The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association have collaborated on the Broadband Infrastructure Playbook, which they released today. The playbook is designed to be a comprehensive guide to help state broadband offices in making efficient and effective use of federal funds allocated for broadband in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
The IIJA allocates $65 billion to build broadband networks in unserved areas and provide more affordable services, of which $42.5 billion is earmarked for the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is aimed at broadband deployment in unserved rural areas. The BEAD program is administered by NTIA, but funding decisions will be made by individual states.
Global telecom consulting firm Cartesian collaborated with the FBA and NCTA on the broadband infrastructure playbook, which offers suggestions for broadband grant program structures consistent with IIJA objectives and provides successful examples from the high-performing state broadband programs over the past several years.
“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, in a prepared statement. “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.”
“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 Chief Executive Officer, in a prepared statement. “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.”
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.