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News by Topic: Infrastructure

May 25, 2023 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announces the intent to renew the Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC). The CEDC makes recommendations to the FCC on advancing equity in the provision of and access to digital communication services and products. The renewal will be effective for a 2-year period beginning June 22, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 25, 2023 - Notice of final rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) confirming the January 30, 2023, final rule. This final rule makes updates to the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) regulation to remove outdated requirements to ensure that requirements are clear, accurately presented, and in compliance with Federal reporting requirements. This rule is effective May 1, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 24, 2023 - About 60,000 Alaskans lack broadband access entirely, while 200,000 have limited access to broadband. Alaska Tribal Spectrum, a tribally-owned nonprofit, is working to bring high-speed internet and cell reception to rural Alaska. With greater access to high-speed internet, services like telehealth could improve care in rural regions.
Source: High Country News
May 24, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) seeking to increase tribal government participation in the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. This rule proposes revising the definition of small and emerging business to clarify the relationship of tribal governments and tribal-owned entities, which will improve tribal government accessibility to both the regular RBDG program and RBDG funds appropriated specifically to support projects that benefit federally recognized tribes and their members. Comments are due by July 24, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 11, 2023 - Notice of final rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) confirming the February 1, 2023, final rule regarding revisions to the Section 306C Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loans and Grants program regulations. These revisions are being made to implement changes recommended by the May 15, 2018, Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit Report, "Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Federal Agency Needs Assessment and Coordination on Tribal Projects." This final rule also implements other changes to clarify terminology and policies, update scoring criteria, and allow the program to run more efficiently. This rule is confirmed as of May 2, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 21, 2023 - Examines the lack of access to clean water on the Navajo Nation reservation in New Mexico which has led to an increase in consumption of sugary drinks. Highlights efforts by local organizations to combat the obesity and related health issues in children on the reservation. Describes similar rates of obesity in the greater Native child population noting that American Indian and Alaska Native children are 30% more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic white children.
Source: KUNC
Apr 20, 2023 - Announces proposed bipartisan legislation to expand and strengthen the USDA Rural Decentralized Water Systems Program through 2028, increase the loan amount to $20,000, and target funding to low-income households. The bill would also reinstate eligibility for some individuals and allow funding to cover performance warranties.
Source: Office of Senator Cory Booker
Apr 19, 2023 - Announces an order from the Federal Communications Commission to continue work enhancing mobile and fixed voice and broadband services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were damaged by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
Apr 19, 2023 - Describes issues in rural and tribal America stemming from a lack of broadband access. Highlights efforts by Rural LISC and local leaders, governments, and nonprofits in Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia to enhance broadband coverage in their communities.
Source: Rural LISC
Apr 17, 2023 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $20 million to deliver broadband technical assistance resources for rural communities, and to support the development and expansion of broadband cooperatives.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Apr 6, 2023 - Notice from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of four virtual listening sessions on the Digital Equity Act Request for Comment. The listening sessions will be held on throughout April and are designed to inform the development of the State Digital Equity Capacity and State Digital Equity Competitive grant programs. The goal of these programs is to promote the adoption and meaningful use of the internet across covered populations, including low-income individuals, aging individuals, veterans, people with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural residents, among others. Meeting details will be posted on the Internet For All website.
Source: Federal Register