In a new report commissioned by WIA, Tilson analyzes all U.S. state preparations to implement unprecedented broadband infrastructure funding, finding vastly differing levels of readiness and widely varying approaches. In its analysis, Tilson identified 12 U.S. states and territories with no proposed or enacted legislation to create broadband grant programs to implement broadband funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). In addition to evaluating the status of state broadband programs, WIA’s State Broadband Program Analysis report also identified varying levels of receptiveness to funding wireless broadband projects across U.S. states, territories, and districts.
With IIJA’s historic $65 billion in broadband funding to be administered through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)’s state grant program, states and territories without broadband grant programs in place could experience delays or fail to maximize funding for eligible broadband infrastructure projects.
“In this illuminating report WIA commissioned for our members, we found that states are in dramatically different places when it comes to their level of preparedness and sophistication in their broadband grant programs. With the historic levels broadband funding in the recently enacted bipartisan bill, many need to get moving,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein.
“It’s concerning that only about half of states and territories view wireless broadband favorably. They might benefit from asking their citizens whether they value their smartphones instead of deciding technologies for them. We worked hard to ensure Congress enabled states to leverage all available broadband technologies, but we are now seeing many states taking a narrow view that will needlessly limit their own choices and services available to consumers in their states.”
The executive summary of WIA’s State Broadband Program Analysis is publicly available at WIA.org, and the full report is available exclusively to WIA and HetNet Forum members.