Vol. 18, No. 19
May 9, 2022
OMB Offers Infrastructure Program Implementation Guidance
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum that provides guidance to executive departments and agencies that have responsibilities for implementing programs created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The IIJA provides $550 billion in new federal investment in infrastructure, including $65 billion for broadband programs.
FCC Commits $39 Million Emergency Connectivity Funding
The FCC is committing nearly $39 million in the 14th wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program support, helping to close the Homework Gap. This latest round of funding is supporting 140 schools, 14 libraries, and one consortium across the country, including for students in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Puerto Rico and Virginia.

May 13, 2022, is the last day for schools and libraries to apply for support to purchase eligible equipment and services for the 2022-2023 school year through a third application window the FCC opened last week. In this window, the FCC anticipates awarding at least $1 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund program support. This window likely will be the last opportunity for schools and libraries to request funding before available funds in the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund program are exhausted.
More details about which schools and libraries have received funding commitments can be found at the FCC website.
Capito, Klobuchar Introduce Rural Broadband Protection Act
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), both members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, introduced the Rural Broadband Protection Act (S.4126), which would require a more thorough vetting and verification process for internet service providers seeking to participate in the FCC high-cost programs. The bill would provide essential safeguards to Universal Service Fund high-cost programs by ensuring that funding goes to companies that have a proven track record of success and have demonstrated sound judgment in deploying in hard-to-serve areas.
Parties Agree to Dismiss Challenge of Net Neutrality Law
The ACA, CTIA, NCTA and USTelecom, and the attorney general of California filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California a joint stipulation of dismissal of a case challenging California’s 2018 net neutrality law. On April 20, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing of the January 2022 ruling upholding the district court’s denial of a motion for preliminary injunction to prohibit enforcement of California’s net neutrality law.
NTIA Final Pre-NOFO Webinar Scheduled for May 11
NTIA is hosting a pre-Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) technical assistance webinar series through May in connection with the five new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program; the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program; and the Digital Equity Act Programs, which include the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.

These pre-NOFO technical assistance webinars are designed to help prospective applicants understand NTIA’s IIJA broadband grant programs and to assist applicants to prepare high quality grant applications.

NTIA Webinar Schedule
  • Webinar #5: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, from 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET

These webinars will be hosted via NTIA’s virtual platform and conducted as live webinars. NTIA will post the registration information on its BroadbandUSA website.