On December 6, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the schedule for listening sessions regarding the five new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The programs are: The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program ($42.45B); the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program ($1B); and the Digital Equity Act Programs [State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program ($60M), State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program ($1.44B), and the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program($1.25B)].
The listening sessions are designed to solicit stakeholder input to help the agency develop and implement the grant programs. While local governments will be able to directly apply for some of the grant funding, even the programs that send funding directly to states call for collaboration with local and regional entities. Further, at a recent infrastructure summit, NTIA officials urged stakeholders at all levels to participate in the listening sessions.
The schedule for the sessions are as follows:
- Wednesday, December 15, 2021, from 2:30-4 p.m. (Eastern)
- Wednesday, January 12, 2022, from 2:30-4 p.m. (Eastern)
- Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 2:30-4 p.m. (Eastern)
- Wednesday, February 9, 2022, from 2:30-4 p.m. (Eastern)
- Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 2:30-4 p.m. (Eastern)
Registration information will be posted on NTIA’s Broadband USA website at https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/events/latest-events. To read more about the broadband grant programs, click here.