By: Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson
NTIA is like a start-up within the federal government, despite being nearly 45 years old. We’ve had the explosive growth of a new organization in my first year at the helm: Over one third of current NTIA staff was not here when I took the oath of office in January. While NTIA is still a small agency by government standards, we punched above our weight class in 2022. We delivered on programs to improve Internet connectivity while also notching big wins on spectrum policy, international standards, and other important tech policy issues.
On broadband, NTIA spent 2022 making down payments on our future investments in connecting everyone in America to affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service. And those down payments weren’t small – we've awarded $2.3 billion in funding to nearly 300 entities as we advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of closing the digital divide. Highlights from the year included:
- Launching the “Internet for All” campaign, and releasing key funding notices – ahead of schedule – for our major access, digital equity, and middle mile programs.
- Hiring Federal Program Officers to cover every state and territory participating in Internet For All to ensure each has a point of contact within NTIA for help with their broadband funding needs.
- Celebrating planning grant awards at events with 15 states and territories and alongside nine bipartisan governors.
- Traveling to more than 35 states so our senior leaders could learn about the unique challenges each community faces in connecting the unconnected.
Read more about our 2022 Internet For All work here.
Closing the digital divide has been NTIA’s top 2022 priority. But we also serve as the President’s advisor on tech and telecom policy, and we take that role seriously. Our experts have played key roles on spectrum, international affairs, privacy, and wireless innovation. Achievements this year include:
- Working to elect Doreen Bogdan-Martin as Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the first woman to be elected Secretary General in the ITU’s 157-year history.
- Improving spectrum coordination between the White House, FCC, and other federal agencies, and updating a nearly two-decade-old Memorandum of Understanding with the FCC on spectrum coordination.
- Submitting comments to the Federal Trade Commission offering a roadmap for privacy regulations, including new limits on the ways in which companies can collect or use personal information.
- Launching a $1.5 billion fund to support the promotion and deployment of more diverse and resilient wireless network gear through a request for comment on the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund.
Here’s a look at NTIA By The Numbers in 2022:
- $1.7 billion in grants to more than 200 Tribal entities, projected to connect more than 135,000 households, as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.
- 139-25, the vote in favor of Doreen Bogden-Martin.
- Approximately 90,000 federal spectrum frequency assignments processed by the NTIA Office of Spectrum Management in 2022
- 100% of the US states and territories signed up for the broadband infrastructure grant programs
- One-third of NTIA employees newly hired since January of 2022.
- $304 million in planning grants to all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, to help leaders prepare for the funding to come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
None of this would be possible without our terrific federal, tribal, state, and local government partners, and the many stakeholders and communities engaged in our work. NTIA is grateful for that partnership. Our agenda for 2023 is equally ambitious, and we look forward to working with all of you as we strive to build a better-connected world.