ACA Connects: Commerce, NTIA Take Major Step Toward Closing the Digital Divide
PITTSBURGH, May 13, 2022 – The following statement may be attributed to ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka:
“Last year, as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Congress enacted new broadband support programs designed to narrow, if not permanently close, the country’s broadband availability and adoption gaps. With today’s release of the Notices of Funding Opportunity for the BEAD, Middle-Mile, and Digital Equity programs, Commerce Secretary Raimondo, Assistant Secretary Davidson, and the entire the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) team take a major next step toward achieving that goal.”
“These Notices set out ground rules that ACA Connects Members — more than 600 smaller, experienced, community-based broadband providers — can work with to achieve what we all want; namely, closing the digital divide once and for all. We appreciate that they incorporate ideas that we discussed with the agency in the last few months.”
“Now, we need to turn to the next stages in the process. ACA Connects Members not only have the experience and expertise to build future-proof broadband networks, but they are committed to getting lower-income consumers to subscribe. They look forward to continuing to work with NTIA as funding gets allocated and with the States as they award funds to promote broadband deployment, adoption and other projects.”
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 600 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses.