Blog

Building Digital Access: NTIA Partners with Tennessee on Broadband Summit

Wed, March 21, 2018 by

by Doug Kinkoph, Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications

Nationwide broadband connectivity is the aspirational goal bringing together broadband leaders for the March 20 Tennessee Broadband Summit in Nashville. The event, sponsored jointly by NTIA and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, is an all-day program with workshops and problem-solving presentations from industry, state and local leaders, and community groups working to build connectivity options throughout the state.

Strong leadership at every level of government can lead to increased broadband deployment. New opportunities through the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act and other state and Federal initiatives are vital tools that can help increase broadband accessibility. Also encouraging is the increase in broadband leadership from states, as evidenced in the strong participation at a recent meeting in Washington, D.C. of state broadband leaders across the country to discuss the types of challenges, programs, and investments that are happening at the state level.

At the federal level, President Trump has made broadband a key priority. When he was in Nashville earlier this year, the President issued executive orders to streamline permitting, remove regulatory barriers, and make more federal towers available to commercial service providers. We have made progress in each of those areas.

BEA: Initial Estimates Show Digital Economy Accounted for 6.5 Percent of GDP in 2016

Wed, March 14, 2018 by BEA News

This blog post was cross-posted on the Bureau of Economic Analysis website.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released, for the first time, preliminary statistics and an accompanying report exploring the size and growth of the digital economy. Goods and services that are primarily digital accounted for 6.5 percent of the U.S. economy, or $1.2 trillion, in 2016, after a decade of growing faster than the U.S. economy overall, BEA’s research shows.

From 2006 to 2016, the digital economy grew at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent, outpacing overall U.S. economic growth of 1.5 percent per year.
In 2016, the digital economy supported 5.9 million jobs, or 3.9 percent of total U.S. employment. Digital economy employees earned $114,275 in average annual compensation compared with $66,498 per worker for the total U.S. economy.

NTIA Celebrates Vital Role of Digital Inclusion Programs

Thu, May 11, 2017 by BroadbandUSA

This week, NTIA is joining communities, organizations and broadband advocates in recognizing Digital Inclusion Week and the important work being done by digital inclusion programs across the country.

The concept of digital inclusion goes beyond ensuring that everyone in the United States has access to the Internet -- it reflects the understanding that people require robust broadband connections, connected devices that meet their needs, and the skills to explore, create, and collaborate in the digital world.

Community leaders, universities, libraries, nonprofit groups and others are working together on digital inclusion programs that connect citizens and inform them about the tremendous number of economic, educational and entertainment benefits that computer use can provide. There are endless examples of these kinds of programs, including "learn to code" classes, workforce skills programs, and training for seniors so they can seek out health information online.

NTIA's BroadbandUSA program offers guidance, assistance and resources to help build the capacity of digital inclusion programs. A few highlights:

Agencies Making Progress to Connect America

Thu, January 12, 2017 by Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator and Lisa Mensah, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development

Over the last eight years, our agencies have worked to expand the availability and adoption of broadband in recognition of the increasingly important role that the Internet is playing in every facet of society.

Recognizing the opportunity to marshal resources across the entire federal government, President Obama in March 2015 created the Broadband Opportunity Council, co-chaired by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce, which in August 2015 identified a series of executive actions that could be taken through existing agency programs, missions, and budgets to increase broadband deployment, competition, and adoption.

Today, we are pleased to report that the 25 participating agencies have made considerable progress toward completing their commitments. These actions further the goals of modernizing federal programs to expand program support for broadband investments; empowering communities with tools and resources to attract broadband investment and promote meaningful use; promoting increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to federal assets; and improving data collection, analysis, and research on broadband.

Using Partnerships to Power Smart Cities: A Toolkit for Local Communities

Wed, November 16, 2016 by NTIA

Many cities and local communities are eyeing advances in technology as a way to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve quality of life for their residents – all in the face of shrinking budgets. They are seeking to become “Smart Cities” by embedding new digital technologies into municipal infrastructure. The possibilities seem endless: smart grids, intelligent transportation systems, connected street lighting, and remote healthcare to name a few.

Although smart-city infrastructure is the foundation for vibrant societies of tomorrow, today many communities do not have the required expertise to develop and sustain new large-scale infrastructure and technology projects.  Many also lack the funds needed for such investments. One way to meet these challenges is to harness the resources and strengths of private-sector stakeholders – innovators, businesses, community anchor institutions, educators, and more. Private-sector partners can be an important source of capital, technical knowledge, continuing innovation and workforce development.

To assist communities, NTIA today released a toolkit for local officials and citizen groups to use as a guide for building successful public-private partnerships. Using Partnerships to Power a Smart City: A Toolkit for Local Communities identifies factors to consider when developing a partnership -- including what to look for in a partner, assessing each partner’s contribution, and guidance on how to structure the most fruitful partnership agreements. The toolkit also includes checklists to help communities as they work through the planning process.  

New NTIA Guide Outlines Strategies, Best Practices for Effective Broadband Stakeholder Outreach

Tue, September 6, 2016 by Doug Kinkoph, Associate Administrator, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications

Today, we will be hosting our seventh broadband workshop in Missoula, Montana, where we will have the chance to hear from local leaders, broadband providers, community groups and others. Issues teed up include the importance of engaging with stakeholders who are key to any broadband project’s success. But it’s not always easy to identify who key stakeholders are or the best ways to engage them to help contribute to a broadband project’s success.

To help communities and organizations launch successful broadband projects and generate support from potential users, we created a new toolkit with insights into effective stakeholder outreach gleaned from NTIA’s broadband work over the last seven years. The “Introduction to Stakeholder Outreach” details tools and proven best practices to help communities generate support for broadband projects and share the importance of broadband with key stakeholders.

This toolkit is the latest in a series to complement the technical assistance NTIA is providing through the BroadbandUSA program. These guides include Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap, Guide to Federal Funding of Broadband Projects, Introduction to Effective Public-Private Partnerships and a Broadband Adoption Toolkit.

BroadbandUSA Unveils the Six-Step Process to Building a Broadband Roadmap

Thu, April 28, 2016 by NTIA

From the thriving tech hub of Seattle to the small mountain town of Silverton, Colo., communities around the country understand that broadband access and adoption are essential to staying competitive in the 21st century. A high-speed Internet connection combined with relevant digital skills can unlock a range of opportunities for residents, including better job prospects, access to educational and health care resources, and discounts on goods and services.

As local leaders take on the challenge of expanding broadband in their communities, NTIA is here to help. Our BroadbandUSA program  is harnessing the expertise we gained overseeing the $4 billion in grants issued through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Through technical assistance, regional workshops, guidance and resources, BroadbandUSA is building on the lessons learned from across our grant portfolio to support communities as they seek to build infrastructure, pursue public-private partnerships, or increase adoption.

Our efforts continue today with the release of a new toolkit called Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap. A Community Broadband Roadmap contains a community’s strategic vision and goals, analyzes existing community resources and needs, and guides the tactical plans to realize this vision. An effective roadmap will also identify potential collaborations that can lead to additional businesses, programs and economic growth.

Tackling the Digital Divide in the Pacific Northwest

Fri, March 25, 2016 by NTIA

As the headquarters for a number of technology industry pioneers, Seattle has a thriving digital economy. But even in this high-tech hub, 93,000 residents – or 15 percent of the city’s population – don’t subscribe to the Internet.

And across the state of Washington and the wider Pacific Northwest, there are still rural communities that lack access to adequate broadband. The problem is particularly acute for many Native American communities, including the Makah, Quinault and other tribes of the Olympic Peninsula and the Spokane and Colville Federated Tribes east of the Cascade Mountains.

From urban centers such as Seattle and Portland, Ore., to rural towns such as Toledo, Wash., civic leaders, industry officials and community activists are making progress in narrowing the digital divide. But the job is not done. That’s the picture that emerged from a daylong regional broadband workshop that NTIA hosted in partnership with the non-profit Next Century Cities in Seattle this week.

The event was the sixth in an ongoing series of regional workshops that NTIA is organizing as part of our BroadbandUSA program, which provides free hands-on technical assistance, toolkits, guides, webinars and other support to help communities expand local broadband deployment and adoption.

The Seattle workshop brought together roughly 250 stakeholders – including local, state and federal officials, tribal leaders, industry representatives and community activists – to study broadband challenges facing the Pacific Northwest, explore potential solutions and examine success stories from Washington and surrounding states.

First Look: Internet Use in 2015

Tue, March 22, 2016 by John B. Morris, Jr., Associate Administrator, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

As the Obama Administration continues to focus on expanding broadband access and adoption, NTIA released new data today that shows that some of the demographic groups that have historically lagged behind in using the Internet—such as senior citizens, minorities, and Americans with lower levels of educational attainment—are making big strides.

Particularly promising, Internet use increased significantly among children and older Americans between 2013 and 2015. Children between the ages of 3 and 14 became substantially more likely to go online, as Internet use among this group increased from 56 percent in 2013 to 66 percent in 2015, and Internet use among those aged 65 or older increased from 51 percent to 56 percent during the same period. In contrast, usage remained largely unchanged among those who were previously most likely to go online, with 83 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 reporting Internet use in both 2013 and 2015.

The latest data comes from the Computer and Internet Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), which included nearly 53,000 households and was conducted for NTIA by the U.S. Census Bureau in July 2015. The large sample size provides a detailed picture of where, why and how Americans go online.

NTIA Launches Community Connectivity Initiative with Backing from Major Community Groups

Thu, March 10, 2016 by NTIA

Access to broadband means economic growth, new employment opportunities, and improvements in education, health care, and public safety. NTIA's recognition of this central fact of the 21st century is why we have engaged in a range of efforts to increase Internet access, adoption, and digital literacy, from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program funded by the Recovery Act to the creation of the first public, searchable nationwide map of broadband availability.

As a continuation of those efforts, NTIA's BroadbandUSA program is partnering with national organizations representing millions of Americans in more than a thousand localities across the country to develop the Community Connectivity Initiative (Initiative). The Initiative will empower communities across the country by giving them tools to support and accelerate local broadband planning efforts. NTIA, in close collaboration with its partners, will create a comprehensive online assessment tool to help community leaders identify critical broadband needs and connect them with expertise and resources. The tool will provide a framework of benchmarks and indicators on access, adoption, policy, and use for communities.

The Initiative is part of a broader effort announced by the White House today to connect 20 million more Americans to the Internet by 2020. Another element of that announcement is a recommendation for the Federal Communications Commission to modernize its Lifeline telephony subsidy program. NTIA filed comments with the FCC on behalf of the Administration, expressing strong support for expanding the Lifeline program to connect more low-income Americans to broadband.

BroadbandUSA Logo

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA promotes innovation and economic growth by supporting efforts to expand broadband connectivity and digital inclusion across America.
Technical Assistance

BroadbandUSA Logo

BroadbandUSA serves as a strategic advisor to state and local government, industry and non-profits to expand broadband capacity and promote digital inclusion.
btop map logo

Connect With Us

Youtube facebook flickr twitter RSS