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.