Counties Applaud Release of Broadband Allocations
WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) today applauded the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s (NTIA) announcement of the state allocations that will be granted under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. The $42.45 billion BEAD program will help deliver high-speed, affordable internet access to unserved and underserved county residents.
“Today’s announcement is an important step in the deployment of accessible, reliable high-speed internet for our residents, businesses and other essential community facilities,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Counties are forging regional and local partnerships that are resulting in better service, access and affordability.”
Counties have played a pivotal role in advocating for responsible, effective federal investments in broadband development, including:
- Provided the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with accurate serviceable location and availability data
- Worked with state broadband offices, congressional offices and federal agencies to identify critical improvements in the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection process, ensuring the BEAD program would not overlook unserved or underserved populations, and
- Delivered crowdsourced and supplemental broadband speed performance data through NACo’s TestIT application, a mobile app that leverages a broadband sampling tool to aggregate speeds from users.
Additionally, counties are urging internet service providers to fully utilize the Affordable Connectivity Program. This initiative will help qualifying households reap the benefits of a high-speed internet connection for modern commerce, access to telehealth and remote education opportunities, and the ability to telework, among other benefits.
“Access to high-speed internet is essential to our quality of life and the overall strength of our communities,” said Chase. “We will continue to serve as earnest partners in implementing the BEAD program and positioning our residents to be fully connected for the future.”
For more information about broadband in counties, click here.