CTF Submits Response to Senator Thune’s Request for Comments on the Efficient & Effective Use of Federal Broadband Funding

January 18, 2023

Connect the Future (CTF) submitted an official response to a December 2022 letter from Senator John Thune (R-SD), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband and longstanding rural broadband access champion, seeking comments on how to ensure that unprecedented federal broadband funding is used efficiently and is maximized towards bringing connectivity to truly unserved, often rural areas.

“Our brief comments address one of the most persistent barriers raised in your letter: utility pole access. If internet service providers (ISPs) are unable to obtain attachments to poles in a timely and cost-efficient manner, billions of dollars in federal broadband deployment funding are effectively stranded. Fortunately, Congress, along with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), can take concrete steps to avoid such a disappointing outcome and to ensure federal broadband funds deliver high-speed internet availability to all who need it as quickly as possible. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) can also assist by providing guidance to states on the steps they should take to ensure timely and cost-effective access to poles under its Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.”

Read CTF’s full letter HERE.