The Biden administration said it will set up a new Tribal communications and technology office, while the Commerce Department approved another $73 million of funding grants to expand broadband service on Tribal lands.
The Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) took the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to task in a July 22 report that finds “control weaknesses” in FirstNet’s handling of a $336 million payment it made to its contractor AT&T.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), a Federal government entity within the Department of Commerce that is working with AT&T to build out a nationwide broadband communications network for first responders, said today that Sue Swenson is stepping down as chair of the FirstNet board, and Jeffrey Johnson is resigning as vice chair.
The House today approved by voice vote the ACCESS BROADBAND Act (HR 3994), which would direct the Department of Commerce (DoC) to establish an Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Members of the House Energy and Commerce’s Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee expressed broad agreement today that the Federal government needs to do more to promote the availability of broadband service in underserved and unserved areas of the United States, but appeared to signal little in the way of any unified sentiment to coalesce around any of several existing bills that aim for that goal.