On February 4, the Open RAN Policy Coalition filed comments in response to NTIA’s Request for Comment on Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) broadband funding.
Expanding access to broadband and fostering innovation lie at the heart of the ORPC’s core mission. The Coalition was formed to support policies and initiatives that will advance the adoption of open and interoperable solutions in the wireless radio access network (“RAN”) to promote innovation, spur competition, and expand the supply chain for advanced wireless communications technologies.
Coalition members represent a cross-section of the wireless communications industry, ranging from network operators to network solutions providers, systems integrators, cloud providers, edge device manufacturers, and others. Our members believe that by standardizing network interfaces, the communications sector can invite more competition and optionality into the broadband marketplace, leverage these options to expand access to broadband, and provide a foundation for rapid innovation going forward.
With this aim in mind, the Coalition urges NTIA to consider the following points as it begins to shape these broadband funding programs:
- First, IIJA investments should fund deployments of wired and wireless broadband networks.
- Second, open and virtual RAN can provide efficiencies that expand broadband access.
- Third, open and virtual RAN will enable publicly funded broadband networks to sustain and scale over time.
- Fourth, NTIA should pursue a limited “Build America, Buy America” waiver for “broadband equipment” to provide market certainty.
We provide additional discussion of all four points in our filing, which is available for download here.