GAO: Federal broadband efforts fragmented and overlapping

U.S. Government Accountability Office

National Strategy Needed to Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Digital Divide
Published: May 31, 2022. Publicly Released: May 31, 2022.

In its efforts to expand broadband access, the federal government has subsidized investment in rural areas that haven't attracted private investment. We identified over 100 federal programs—administered by 15 agencies—that could be used to expand access.

However, the number of programs has led to a fragmented, overlapping patchwork of funding. We recommended synchronizing federal efforts with a national broadband strategy, and more.


GAO is making three recommendations, including (1) that NTIA identify key statutory limitations to program alignment and develop legislative proposals as appropriate, and (2) that the Executive Office of the President develop and implement a national broadband strategy. NTIA agreed with our recommendations. The Executive Office of the President did not take a position on our recommendation.