The Trump Administration Thursday released a progress report on federal government broadband initiatives. The 30+-page document details accomplishments of the American Broadband Initiative (ABI) after the release of the initial ABI Milestones Report.
The new report shows “significant achievements” across government in removing regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, leveraging public resources for broadband expansion, and maximizing the impact of federal broadband funding, according to the Commerce Department. “President Trump has made expanding rural broadband access a top priority, and Americans nationwide are seeing results,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios. “Since its launch last year, the American Broadband Initiative has made important progress in removing barriers to broadband deployment and spurring investment in network buildout. The Trump Administration remains committed to ensuring all Americans can connect to our 21st century economy.”
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) shares leadership of the ABI with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Economic Council, and the White House Offices of American Innovation, Management and Budget, and Science and Technology Policy. Within the Commerce Department, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Economic Development Agency and NTIA each completed all of the commitments made in the Milestones Report. Overall, 80 percent of the original 60 commitments including in the original report have been completed, and the remaining commitments are underway.
Some of the accomplishments detailed in the Progress Report:
- USDA, through its ReConnect program, awarded more than $744 million in funds through March 2020, to support more than 80 broadband projects benefiting more than 430,000 rural residents in 34 states.
- NTIA created a National Broadband Availability Map, which expanded to 18 state partners to deliver accurate, essential data on broadband availability.
- The General Services Administration and the USDA’s Forest Service finalized a revised Standard Form (SF-299), making this common application form suitable for telecommunications purposes.