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June 2 -- The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Department of Commerce, invites comments by August 1, 2023 regarding the NTIA Internet Use Survey aka the CPS Computer and Internet Use Supplement.

NTIA seeks approval to add 65 questions to the November 2023 edition of the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS). NTIA has sponsored sixteen such surveys since 1994.
 
President Biden has made clear the Administration's goal to ensure that “every community in America has access to affordable, high-speed internet.” Digitally connected Americans populate the modern workforce, drive creative innovation throughout the economy, and ensure a growing customer base to help sustain our nation's global competitiveness; data from the NTIA Internet Use Survey will inform policies aimed at achieving digital equity so that the internet's benefits are accessible to all Americans. The research and policy analysis enabled by this data collection are particularly important in light of the historic investments being made through the Biden-Harris Administration's internet for All programs, and following a pandemic that has further highlighted the importance of the internet in daily life.

NTIA is working with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), other federal agencies, state and local governments, industry, and nonprofits to develop and promote policies that foster ubiquitous broadband deployment, adoption, and effective use. These policies help to ensure that families and businesses can obtain competitively priced high-speed internet service, and that everyone is able to gain the skills necessary to use the technology. Collecting current, systematic, and comprehensive information on internet use and non-use by U.S. households is critical to enabling policymakers to gauge progress made to date and identify specific areas and demographic groups in which adoption is a concern with a specificity that permits carefully targeted and cost-effective responses.

The U.S. Census Bureau is widely regarded as a premier data collector based on centuries of experience and rigorous scientific methods. Collection of NTIA's requested internet usage data will occur in conjunction with a future edition of the U.S. Census Bureau's CPS, thereby significantly reducing the potential burdens on the U.S. Census Bureau and on surveyed households.

The U.S. government has a pressing need for comprehensive data in this area. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), NTIA, and the FCC have issued reports noting the importance of useful broadband data for policymakers. Moreover, Congress has passed legislation—including the Broadband Data Improvement Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Broadband DATA Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and most recently, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—wholly or in part to facilitate data collection, research, and policy analysis in this area. Modifying the CPS to include NTIA's requested internet use questions will enable the Commerce Department and NTIA to respond to congressional concerns and directives. It will also enable NTIA to continue using timely data in the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, which employs a funding formula that by law must be based in part on estimates from the NTIA Internet Use Survey.
 
The NTIA internet Use Survey will be administered by the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to the CPS. Data will be collected through personal visits and live telephone interviews using computer-assisted telephone interviewing and computer-assisted personal interviewing.
 
NTIA Internet Use Survey: https://ntia.gov/topics/data-central
Proposed 2023 NTIA Internet Survey: https://www.ntia.gov/federal-register-notice/2023/2023-internet-use-survey-information-collection
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-11726

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