The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will be focused on funding broadband programs, developing a national spectrum policy, and protecting privacy rights for marginalized groups in 2023.
NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson explained that the agency’s most high-profile task for 2023 is overseeing the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program – a $42.45 billion fund to expand high-speed internet access in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
“This is our generation’s big infrastructure moment … This is our chance to connect everybody in the country with what they need to thrive in the modern digital economy, and we are going to do it,” Davidson said during his address at the CES 2023 technology conference in Las Vegas on Jan 7.
State and territorial governments will administer the final distribution of the BEAD funds under NTIA’s guidelines.
In addition, NTIA will begin to determine how much money each state and territory will be getting under the Internet For All Initiative, which is funded by the BEAD Program. The agency also plans to support them as they develop their plans and roadmaps, “which are going to be incredibly critical,” Davidson said.
Davidson reiterated that as the commercial world is looking at new ways to use radio spectrum, the Federal world is as well. To ensure the nation can meet both the Federal and private sector mission objectives, NTIA plans “to develop a national spectrum strategy that ensures the U.S. maintains its leadership by developing a long-term plan to meet both commercial and Federal spectrum needs,” Davidson said.
Finally, Davidson repeated previous calls for a national privacy law, asserting that marginalized communities are harmed disproportionately by privacy violations.
“Building a better internet is a major goal and for that reason, a third big area where we’re going to be doing increasing work in the coming months is in the area of privacy,” Davidson said. “The United States needs a comprehensive Federal privacy law.”
In the coming weeks, he said, NTIA may release a request for public comment on “civil rights and privacy.”