Fiber Broadband Association, NTCA roll out Broadband Infrastructure Playbook

Feb. 28, 2022
The FBA and NTCA have now delivered this critical guide as a means to help state broadband offices prepare for historic broadband infrastructure funding.

The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today announced their promised release of the Broadband Infrastructure Playbook, described as a comprehensive guide designed to assist state broadband offices in making efficient and effective use of federal funds made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Per a statement by the partners, developed in cooperation with global telecom consulting firm Cartesian, the Broadband Infrastructure Playbook outlines and recommends broadband grant program structures consistent with IIJA objectives and identifies successful examples from the high-performing state broadband programs over the past several years.

“We are on the precipice of once-in-a-generation funding and we need to help make the most of this broadband moment,” observed Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

As further noted by FBA and NTCA:

The IIJA makes the largest single federal broadband investment in history with $65 billion in funding, covering four key areas: (1) deployment of future-proof connectivity to all Americans; (2) broadband subsidies for low-income users; (3) accelerating the country’s progress toward addressing both broadband access and adoption challenges; and (4) funding to address digital training and literacy.

These initiatives are all highly dependent on decisions that each state will make as it determines how to utilize these funds to build its critical broadband infrastructure.

Largely focused on the $42.45 billion NTIA Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment (BEAD) program, the Broadband Infrastructure Playbook shares best practices, guidance on the application process, grant program design insight and recommendations on how to best run a successful state grant program.

“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,” commented Gary Bolton, president and CEO at the Fiber Broadband Association. “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.”