Statement of Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet and Television Association Regarding Broadband Funding in the COVID Relief Package

“The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of broadband and its role in helping Americans stay connected during this public health crisis. The COVID relief package rightly focuses on existing broadband gaps and wisely dedicates $7 billion to shrink the digital divide and promote broadband adoption and use.  In supporting new pandemic-related assistance for low income families, minority communities and unemployed Americans, Congress importantly recognizes both the value of ongoing private efforts and the virtue of building new support mechanisms that complement and further energize these efforts. Additionally, at long last, the COVID relief package provides necessary funding for the development of more accurate broadband maps that will deliver more accurate data, enabling policymakers to better identify unconnected communities and target assistance where it is needed most. A combination of more accurate maps plus continued refining of how the RUS ReConnect program administers its funding will help ensure that communities without broadband networks are at the front of the line for federal stimulus dollars.”