ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Today, a coalition of organizations and individuals voiced significant concerns over the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) unauthorized rate regulation actions through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

Read the full letter here.

Key Points:

  • Violation of Federal Law: NTIA’s enforcement of a $30 per month broadband rate mandate contradicts section 60102(h)(5)(D) of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which explicitly prohibits the NTIA from regulating broadband service rates.
  • Misuse of BEAD Program: The coalition accuses the NTIA of manipulating the BEAD program to impose rate regulations indirectly, an act of price fixing by proxy through state broadband offices.
  • A contradiction of Public Statements: NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson’s December 2023 assertion that NTIA would not require rate regulation starkly contrasts the agency’s actions.
  • Example of Overreach: Virginia’s BEAD application rejection over the requirement of a specific low-cost option price highlights the NTIA’s disregard for lawful procedures and market-driven solutions.
  • Call for Action: The coalition urges immediate legislative and administrative action to hold the NTIA accountable for its overreach and to ensure the release of BEAD funds to compliant states.

The coalition’s demands include holding the NTIA accountable for its actions, which are seen as a blatant disregard for federal law and legislative intent, and calling for the immediate release of BEAD funds to states that adhere to Congressionally established criteria without undue NTIA-imposed conditions.

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