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Definition

What is NTIA?

NTIA logoAs articulated on their website, the National Telecommunications, and Information Administration (NTIA), located within the Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that is principally responsible by law for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.

NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for continued innovation and economic growth. These goals are critical to America’s competitiveness in the 21st century global economy and to addressing many of the nation’s most pressing needs, such as improving education, health care, and public safety.

Specific NTIA activities include:

  • Managing the Federal use of spectrum and identifying additional spectrum for commercial use;
  • Administering grant programs that further the deployment and use of broadband and other technologies in America;
  • Developing policy on issues related to the Internet economy, including online privacy, copyright protection, cybersecurity, and the global free flow of information online;
  • Promoting the stability and security of the Internet’s domain name system through its participation on behalf of the U.S. government in Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) activities; and
  • Performing cutting-edge telecommunications research and engineering with both Federal government and private sector partners.

In addition to working with other Executive Branch agencies to develop Administration positions, NTIA represents the Executive Branch in both domestic and international telecommunications and information policy activities. NTIA is also a leading source of research and data on the status of broadband availability and adoption in America.

NTIA administers grant programs that further the deployment and use of broadband and other technologies in America, laying the groundwork for sustainable economic growth; improved education, public safety, and health care; and the advancement of other national priorities. Among the many programs administered by the NTIA includes the Internet for All which encompass programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, the Broadband Infrastructure Program, the Capital Projects Fund, the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program and multiple Tribal Broadband Connectivity programs.

The Build America Buy America Act (BABA), enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 15, 2021, established a domestic content procurement preference for all Federal financial assistance obligated for infrastructure projects after May 14, 2022. The NTIA has proposed and implemented some BABA waivers for the programs it administers.

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