June 22, 2022
The flood of funding coming down from the federal government to address the digital divide is spurring a range of broadband administrative hires in federal and state offices.
At the federal level, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told a senate committee in February that the department expected to make at least 100 new hires for broadband alone and to have one staffer at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) assigned to each state.
And at a recent senate hearing, Alan Davidson, head of NTIA – which is administering roughly $48 billion in broadband grant programs funded through the infrastructure law – updated lawmakers on those hires, saying the administration was halfway toward its goal of hiring a broadband point person for every state.
"Probably the most important thing that we are building right now at NTIA is a team of people, of federal program officers, who will be out in the states, in each state, assigned to each state, making sure that programs are successful and that providers can navigate issues," he said at the hearing.
Figure 1: Alan Davidson at NTIA oversight hearing on June 9, 2022.
(Source: Screenshot via Senate Commerce Committee)
But pressed for how NTIA is prioritizing which states it's hiring for first, Davidson indicated the process was driven more by available talent.
"I'll just be honest, a lot of it depends on where we're recruiting," he said, "so if folks know of great people in your state that we should be hiring, we'd love to hear it."
NTIA did not respond to questions from Broadband World News regarding progress on its new hires as of this writing. But according to its job listings, the government office is still hiring in "multiple" locations for a Broadband Program Specialist at its Broadband Infrastructure and State Coordination Division. (The application window was listed as open between June 13-June 21.)
That position, advertised at a salary range of $54,727-$80,532 per year, is for "recent graduates," with duties including providing "administrative support to the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) leadership team, including scheduling, tracking priority activities, and team communications" and managing "special projects to support BEAD efforts."
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