Mullin Presses Biden Administration on Allocation of Broadband Funds

Press Release

Date: Feb. 16, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) pressed the Biden Administration on the allocation of National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) broadband funds during an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing today. Mullin reiterated the need for broadband access in rural communities, like the Second District.

Click here for full video of Mullin's remarks.

"My district in Oklahoma is the least connected district in the country," said Mullin. "Less than 50 percent of District Two of Oklahoma is connected to reliable internet service. It's very expensive and hard to get the middle mile much less the last mile put in place, so we want to make sure these funds are used appropriately."

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) authorized a total of $65 billion to support various types of broadband initiatives. The legislation also authorized $1 billion for middle mile broadband infrastructure projects to be administered by NTIA directly, and $42.5 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which flows directly through the states.

However, inconsistencies in the definition of "served" and underserved" areas in current law, as well as overlaps across state and federal programs, may hinder the most effective use of taxpayer dollars for broadband development in rural communities, something NTIA must remain mindful of as it moves forward.