WASHINGTON — Today, global tech trade association ITI released recommendations for how the U.S. can leverage digital infrastructure to further its economic competitiveness. The recommendations call for the U.S. Congress and Biden-Harris Administration to make transformative new investments in digital infrastructure in order to tackle the climate crisis, ready the U.S. workforce, and close the digital divide so that all Americans can participate fully in the modern economy.
“For the U.S. to continue to be a leader in technology-fueled growth and innovation, it’s imperative that the U.S. invest strongly in the digital infrastructure,” said Jason Oxman, ITI’s President and CEO. “Doing so now would help to close the digital divide, expand America’s STEM workforce, and ensure that the U.S. is on the leading edge of new technology development and deployment, especially as other countries increase their own investments in digital technology and infrastructure. We look forward to working with our partners in Congress and the administration to move these recommendations forward swiftly.”
ITI specifically recommends that the U.S. Congress:
- Prioritize investment in digital infrastructure by recognizing the relative importance of digital infrastructure as it seeks to modernize U.S. infrastructure more broadly.
- Connect unserved and underserved communities by allocating $80 billion to extend technology neutral, secure, resilient, and modern broadband connectivity.
- Supercharge American 5G and 6G leadership through federal funding for 5G deployment in rural areas and investments in next generation R&D.
- Incentivize foundational technology development critical for connectivity, including by fully funding the CHIPS for America Act and using investment tax credits to increase and modernize semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the United States.
- Expand federal cybersecurity grants to ensure secure and resilient networks to protect critical national infrastructure such as the electrical grid and water supply.
- Accelerate IT and data modernization to ensure federal, state, and local governments can safely, securely, and efficiently accomplish their missions of service.
- Promote digital inclusion by allocating $9.5 billion to ensure all Americans, including students and low-income groups, have the means and skills to access digital infrastructure.
- Expand workforce development to help close the workforce shortage in the telecommunications industry specifically and more broadly focusing training on underserved communities and minority-serving institutions like HBCUs, with a particular focus on STEM skills.
- Reduce regulatory barriers to deployment, through reforms such as the Nationwide Dig Once Act and further efforts to accelerate and streamline 5G buildout.
- Better leverage technology in the design and deployment of infrastructure to accelerate timelines, reduce cost, improve worker safety, and mitigate negative environmental impacts.