On July 5, 2022, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“WCB”) released a Public Notice seeking comment on the June 25, 2021 Interagency Agreement between the FCC, USDA, and NTIA (collectively the “Agencies”), which the Agencies entered into pursuant to the Broadband Interagency Coordination Act of 2020 (“BICA”). Pursuant to the BICA, the Agreement requires coordination among the Agencies for the distribution of funds for broadband deployment under the FCC’s High-Cost Programs, the programs administered by the Rural Utilities service of USDA, and the programs administered by or coordinated through NTIA. The BICA also required the Agreement to mandate that the Agencies share information about existing or planned projects funded, or to receive funding, under their programs and to consider basing distribution of broadband funding under the programs on “standardized data regarding broadband coverage.”
The WCB seeks comment on:
- The effectiveness of the Agreement in facilitating efficient use of funds for broadband deployment;
- The availability of Tribal, State, and local data regarding broadband deployment and the inclusion of that data in interagency coordination; and
- Any modifications to the Agreement that would improve the interagency coordination.
The comments will inform the FCC’s preparation of a report to Congress, also mandated by the BICA, which will detail the effectiveness and possible improvements to the Agreement.
Comments are due on or before August 1, 2022.
Reply comments are due on or before August 16, 2022.
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