Vol. 17, No. 34
August 30, 2021
NTIA Establishes Two Broadband-Focused Offices
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the establishment of the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) and the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI).

The establishment of the OICG fulfills requirements of the ACCESS BROADBAND Act, enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The OICG will be led by Douglas Kinkoph, who has served as the head of NTIA’s broadband program since 2015. The OICG will house all broadband activities at NTIA, including three active broadband grant programs: the Broadband Infrastructure Program, the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program and the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program. The office will also house BroadbandUSA, which provides community outreach, support for state leaders, technical assistance, and helps coordinate federal broadband resources and programs.

The establishment of the OMBI codifies NTIA’s work on its Minority Broadband Initiative since 2018. The OMBI, established within the OICG, fulfills requirements of the Connecting Minority Communities provisions enacted into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The office will continue NTIA’s efforts to collaborate with federal agencies; state, local and tribal governments; Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions; and any interested stakeholders to promote initiatives related to expanding connectivity and digital opportunities for anchor communities.
EBB Enrollment Exceeds 5 Million Households
Over 5 million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program since its launch in mid-May. Coinciding with this milestone, the FCC also began releasing more granular enrollment data to inform its evolving awareness efforts, increase transparency in the program, and empower its outreach partners to better target awareness and enrollment efforts. The new data includes enrollee demographic information, such as age breakdown, eligibility category, type of broadband service, and enrollment numbers by five-digit Zip code area.

To download five-digit Zip code EBB enrollment data, you can visit the tracker website. In addition to the new data released today, the EBB Data Dashboard contains information related to nationwide and state-specific enrollment figures, reports the amount of program funds disbursed as participating providers file reimbursement claims, and three-digit Zip code data the FCC started releasing in late June.
FCC Wireline Bureau Seeks Nominations for USAC Board
The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau issued a public notice seeking nominations for six board member positions on the USAC board of directors for a three-year term. The bureau seeks nominations for representatives for:
  • Interexchange carriers with annual operating revenues of more than $3 billion
  • Rural healthcare providers eligible to receive supported services
  • State telecommunications regulators
  • ILECs (non-BOCs) with more than $40 million in annual revenues
  • Schools eligible to receive discounts
  • Information service providers

Nominations are due October 20, 2021.