• Comments

Request for Guidance On Qualified Broadband Bonds

Comments submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting clarifying guidance pertaining to the recently enacted qualified broadband project bonds.

Read Full Comments

Lily Batchelder

Assistant Secretary
Office of Tax Policy
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220

Douglas O’Donnell

Acting Commissioner
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224

William M. Paul

Principal Deputy Chief Counsel and   Deputy Chief Counsel (Technical)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW

RE:     Request for Guidance under I.R.C. § 142(a)(16) Relating to Bonds for Qualified Broadband Projects

Dear Ms. Batchelder, Mr. Rettig, and Mr. Paul:

The National Association of Bond Lawyers (“NABL”) respectfully submits the attached request for guidance concerning the provisions of section 142(n) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”) for the issuance of bonds to finance qualified
broadband projects.

Sections 142(a)(16), 142(n) and 146(g)(5) of the Code were added as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to encourage investment in highspeed broadband projects for underserved areas.  These provisions are a welcome tool that has the potential to substantially reduce the digital divide between those who do, and those who do not, have access to affordable, reliable, and fast broadband.  However, we believe that administrative guidance or legislative amendments are necessary to address fundamental interpretational concepts in section 142(n) of the Code.  Several aspects of this section have proven difficult to apply such that, to our knowledge, few if any projects for expanding broadband service have moved forward under section 142(n) of the Code. 

The enclosed comments address points that we believe would benefit from guidance.  These comments were prepared by a working group comprising those individuals listed on Appendix 1 hereto and were approved by the NABL Board of Directors.

NABL is a nonprofit organization and specialty bar association of approximately 2,500 lawyers whose purposes include, among other things, providing advice and comment at the federal, state, and local levels with respect to legislation affecting state and municipal obligations.  NABL believes that participating in the guidance process supports clarification of, and facilitates compliance with, tax laws and regulations.  Accordingly, NABL members would welcome the opportunity to discuss the enclosed comments with you to facilitate the use of the new provisions of section 142(n) of the Code.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention.  We look forward to hearing from you.


Joseph (Jodie) E. Smith
National Association of Bond Lawyers