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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NTIA internet Use Survey

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National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Commerce.


Notice of information collection, request for comment.


The Department of Commerce, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.


To ensure consideration, comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before September 8, 2020.


Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to Rafi Goldberg, Telecommunications Policy Analyst, NTIA, via email at Please reference OMB Control Number 0660-0021 in the subject line of your comments. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

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Requests for additional information or specific questions related to collection activities should be directed to Rafi Goldberg, Telecommunications Policy Analyst, NTIA, at (202) 482-4375 or

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I. Abstract

NTIA seeks renewed approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to add 66 questions to a future edition of the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS). This collection of questions is known as the NTIA internet Use Survey, and is also referred to as the CPS Computer and internet Use Supplement. NTIA has sponsored fifteen such surveys since 1994, and previously used the current iteration of the survey instrument in 2017 and 2019.

As the digital economy's accelerating growth reinforces the internet's Start Printed Page 40625importance to the nation's economic prosperity, policymakers, businesses, non-profits, communities, and other stakeholders increasingly rely on data about whether and how Americans use broadband in their routine activities. Digitally-connected Americans provide the modern workforce, creative innovation, and growing customer base to help sustain our nation's global competitiveness; the NTIA internet Use Survey will yield data that can inform investment decisions and resource allocations to advance full participation in the digital economy. The research and policy analysis enabled by this data collection are particularly important as the nation recovers from 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, as well as with industry and nonprofits to develop and promote policies that foster broadband deployment and adoption. These policies help to ensure that the nation's businesses and consumers can obtain competitively priced high-speed internet access and that everyone is able to gain the skills necessary to use the technology. Collecting current, systematic, and comprehensive information on broadband use and non-use by U.S. households is critical to enabling policymakers to gauge progress made to date, and also to identify specific areas and demographic groups in which broadband 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 broadband 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 an increasingly pressing need for comprehensive broadband data. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), NTIA, and the FCC have issued reports noting the importance of useful broadband adoption data for policymakers. Moreover, Congress passed legislation—the Broadband Data Improvement Act in 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009—wholly or in part to address this deficiency. Modifying the CPS to include NTIA's requested broadband questions will enable the Commerce Department and NTIA to respond to congressional concerns and directives.

NTIA has made a copy of the proposed information collection instrument available at​files/​ntia/​blogimages/​november_​2019_​cps_​supplement_​-_​final.pdf.

II. Method of Collection

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.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0660-0021.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Review: Regular submission (Extension of a current information collection).

Affected Public: Individuals and households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 54,000 households.

Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 9,000.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: 47 U.S.C. 902(b)(2)(M), (P).

IV. Request for Comments

We are soliciting public comments to permit NTIA to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Evaluate ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Sheleen Dumas,

Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.

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[FR Doc. 2020-14545 Filed 7-6-20; 8:45 am]