The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lacks a “comprehensive strategic [plan] to guide spectrum policy for 5G deployment,” according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.  The government watchdog agency made recommendations to FCC to improve its strategic plan, but the FCC was luke warm on the reccomendations.

The Federal government has worked to expand access to broadband across the U.S. through large investments in the sector and can continue expanding access in rural areas by improving data and broadband access maps.






The Trump administration is touting increased broadband deployment in rural communities stemming from financial investments and governmentwide connectivity programs, per the American Broadband Initiative Progress Report released today.






With the rise in telework, distance learning, and telehealth, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a spotlight on the importance of broadband connectivity. In a move to promote broadband expansion in rural America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) released nine policy principles to close the digital divide.






Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai asked members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee for $65 million to implement the Broadband DATA Act, a law signed in March to improve the accuracy of broadband deployment maps.






FirstNet

The First Responder Network Authority Board approved more than $200 million in funding to enhance FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.






The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee last week on a bipartisan vote of 25-2 includes the Spectrum Modernization Act, which would direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to evaluate a range of IT improvements that would improve Federal government spectrum management.






Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., introduced the Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act on June 11 to increase access to and accelerate deployment of broadband services across the United States.






Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, believes that the Federal government needs to help state and local governments figure out how to bridge the digital divide as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates a need to expand broadband to areas that don’t have it and to provide better services.






The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced May 21 it is partnering with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to promote the use of $50 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help close the digital divide during the COVID-19 pandemic.






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