commerce logoThe Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC) recently published a progress report detailing actions of the interagency council tasked with improving broadband outcomes through reasonable executive action.  The BOC was created in response to a memorandum from President Obama dating back to March of 2015.

The Presidential Memorandum asked participating agencies to use their authority and resources to take action around the following issues:

  • Identify and address regulatory barriers that may unduly impede either wired broadband deployment or the infrastructure to augment wireless broadband deployment.
  • Encourage further public and private investment in broadband networks and services.
  • Promote the adoption and meaningful use of broadband technology.
  • Encourage or support broadband deployment, competition, and adoption in ways that promote the public interest.

Following self-assessment, a request for comment, and internal review, the BOC published a report in September 2015 with 36 proposed actions.  These actions were organized around four primary goals:

  1. Modernize federal programs to expand program support for broadband investments.
  2. Empower communities with tools and resources to attract broadband investment and promote meaningful use.
  3. Promote increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to federal assets.
  4. Improve data collection, analysis, and research on broadband.

The new BOC progress report includes a full list of action items and progress on each item.  Fifteen items have been completed, and many items have seen significant progress.  Participating agencies have agreed to continue work on remaining action items.

Completed action items worth noting include the recent HUD rules regarding planning and the installation of broadband in public housing construction, as well as BroadbandUSA’s stakeholder outreach and one-on-one technical assistance program.  Pending items include a one-stop information and funding opportunity portal from BroadbandUSA, and the Department of the Interior’s plan to hold a Native American broadband summit in Indian Country.

To read the progress report, click here:

https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/broadband_opportunity_council_agencies_progress_report_jan2017.pdf