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Interagency Agreement to Heighten Nebraska Coordination for Broadband
Nebraska Ag Connection - 05/19/2022

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Wednesday applauded a recent announcement that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reached an agreement to collaborate on federal broadband funding.

"The goal for broadband buildout is to close the digital divide so that reliable Internet service is accessible for all Americans no matter where they live. Better coordination and awareness about where agencies are supporting deployment is crucial and that was the goal of my amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill. I'm pleased the agencies are recognizing the importance of increased collaboration so funding can reach as many households in need of connectivity as possible," said Senator Fischer.

According to the agreement, each federal agency partner will share information about which projects have received, or will receive, funding from other federal funding sources. Data collection and reporting methods will be standardized and streamlined in this enhanced communication.

The agreement follows Senator Fischer successfully championing an amendment that passed as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Her amendment requires the creation of an online FCC mapping tool to view the progress of broadband deployment projects funded by federal agencies all in one place -- directing similar coordination among the FCC, NTIA, Treasury, and USDA, among others, to share the types of data and metrics that the new interagency agreement requires.

Federal funding for broadband deployment is split among many agencies. Improved transparency and coordination about broadband deployment projects is essential to avoid duplication and wasteful spending, and ensures that resources are efficiently distributed to locations where buildout is needed most.

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