Tip Sheets

‘Clock has started’ for broadband industry to leverage new funding

Media Contact

Damien Sharp

The White House announced a $42 billion program to expand broadband across the United States.

Dan Lamb, senior lecturer at the Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy, is deputy supervisor for the Town of Dryden, New York. Officials there are currently working on building and providing municipal broadband. He says this investment is unprecedented but a major step forward in closing the digital divide.  

Dan Lamb

Senior Lecturer

“The $42 billion in Broadband Equity and Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding exceeds what all federal agencies spent on broadband from FY2015 to FY2020. This unprecedented investment is aimed at closing the digital divide that disadvantages people of color, rural communities, and low-income residents.

“The clock has started for the broadband industry, as well as state and local governments, to leverage this assistance. It’s a welcome return to the cooperative federalism that developed much of the nation’s infrastructure. BEAD is also prompting additional state and local government funding. 

“While the FCC made extraordinary efforts to guide state allocations through mapping, local governments have the best data on coverage lapses. Private sector internet service providers must not dictate the buildouts. As a town leader, I’ve worked with New York’s ConnectALL office to ensure our municipal broadband project, Dryden Fiber, gets full consideration.   

“The pandemic highlighted the need for affordable, fast, and reliable internet service. While more funding is needed to reach every U.S. household, BEAD is a major step forward.” 

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