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BEAD Funding Allocation Announcement Gets High Praise to Begin New Broadband Chapter

Texas is the highest awarded state, as 19 states set to receive more than $1 billion from BEAD.



Photo of Joe Biden

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2023 – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Monday the funding allocations through the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program.

Texas is the highest awarded state with over $3.3 billion and California the second-highest with $1.8 billion. Nineteen states are set to receive more than $1 billion in funding. Other high awardees include Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri and North Carolina.

Each state is set to receive a baseline $107.7 million. Allocations were based on the Federal Communications Commission’s second version of its national broadband map.

States will receive their formal notice of allocation on June 30 upon which entities will have 180 days to submit initial proposals for how they will run their subgrant programs. Once plans are approved by the NTIA, states will be able to access at least 20 percent of their allocated funds.

With these allocations, the White House anticipates that each state and territory will have the resources it needs to connect every resident and small business to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by 2030.

Energy was high at the White House Monday when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off the next phase of the administration’s Investing in America agenda with the allocation announcement of BEAD allocations.

“These investments will help all Americans. We are not going to leave anyone behind,” said Biden to applause. Not only will these investments connect more Americans, but they will also provide more high paying jobs and invest in American manufacturing, he continued.

The event, which directly followed the announcement of state allocation funds Monday morning, was attended by broadband leaders across the federal government including NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

“This is a watershed moment for the millions of people across the country who lack access to a high-speed internet connection who will soon have this necessary service to learn, work and play,” Davidson said in a statement.

Among the attendees was also Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., who was an avid advocate of the program with his work in structuring the $62 billion Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, which funded the BEAD program. His wife, Gayle Manchin, also attended the event.

“As a direct result of my efforts to correct the FCC maps and ensure the funding in the IIJA is distributed according to these maps, West Virginia will finally receive our fair share of resources to build out the reliable service we need,” said Manchin of the awards in a statement.

The event was also attended by state broadband leaders from across the nation who gathered to applaud the president for his work to connect Americans to high-speed internet.

Biden said in his remarks that the goal of connecting all Americans to high-speed internet is “bold” but “nothing beyond our capacity.”

“By investing in America, we produce results,” he concluded.

Biden touted broadband infrastructure investment as the remedy to reverse decades of ‘failed economic policies’ in his remarks.

This “historic investment” to connect everyone in America to high-speed, reliable internet connectivity by 2030 would boost the economy by attracting private investments and providing more people with equitable access to high-paying jobs, Biden highlighted.

“For today’s economy to work for everyone, internet access is just as important as electricity, or water, or other basic services,” he claimed.

This investment would further realize the administration’s vision of “building the economy from the middle out and bottom up,” giving all Americans and small businesses a level playing field in the marketplace. It also helps to stabilize a “reeling” economy, the result of a trickle-down economics in which policies such as tax cuts disproportionately favor the wealthy, claimed Biden.

“I promise to be president for all Americans, whether or not they voted for me or whether or not they voted for these laws,” said Biden. “These investments will help all Americans, we’re not gonna leave anyone behind.”

The BEAD program has been a bone of contention for Republican lawmakers since its initial proposal due to concerns that the fiber-focused program would violate technological neutrality and hinder free competition by favoring union workers.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at Monday’s event

Positive responses from lawmakers, industry

“Today’s announcement is history in the making. Reliable, high-speed internet is not a luxury – it’s a necessity,” said Frank Pallone Jr., D-NJ. “Americans depend on internet access to do their jobs, run their small businesses, complete schoolwork, and connect with family and friends.”

Colorado Senators Michael Bennet, D-CO, and John Hickenlooper, D-CO, along with Governor Jared Polis, welcomed Colorado’s allocation of over $826 million, highlighting the significance of closing the digital divide. “Thanks to our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re connecting every household to affordable, high-speed internet so Coloradans can access telehealth services, virtual classes, run their small businesses, and so much more,” said Hickenlooper.

Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, applauded the allocation announcement, saying “Access to broadband creates new ways to live, learn and earn in rural America. These state allocations are a major milestone in the fight to finally make rural broadband a reality.”

USTelecom and CCIA, trade groups representing broadband and technology firms, praised the administration’s efforts and commitment to bridging the digital divide and expanding internet access.

“All of us in the broadband community applaud the Administration, and in particular Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson and the entire NTIA team, for their tremendous efforts,” said Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom. “Now the states turn to the important work of implementing their grant programs and we will continue to work with them to bring broadband to everyone.”

CCIA Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Stephanie Joyce said, “This funding brings states closer to making broadband buildout a reality. This connectivity brings better access to information and economic opportunities for Americans while paving the way for companies across industry sectors to continue innovating.”

ACA Connects, representing independent broadband providers, expressed eagerness to work with states to fulfill the BEAD program’s promise and bring high-performance broadband to all Americans.

“With today’s funding allocations, the Biden Administration has taken another major step in bringing high-performance broadband to all Americans,” CEO Grant Spellmeyer said. “The ball is now in the States, and ACA Connects Members – who already offer wireline broadband service to millions of households, including in rural communities – are eager to work with them to fulfill the promise of the BEAD program.”

Oklahoma will receive nearly $800 million to deploy high-speed internet service. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo praised the investment for closing the digital divide.

“Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to investing in America and with Governor (Kevin) Stitt’s leadership, we are bringing Internet to every family, business, and Tribe in Oklahoma,” Raimondo said in the news release. “Access to high-speed Internet is essential for education, healthcare and economic opportunity, and this funding will help close the digital divide once and for all.”

New York State’s ConnectALL office has been allocated over $664 million in funding. This funding will primarily focus on providing fiber optic infrastructure to areas in New York that currently lack broadband service, governor Kathy Hochul said.

“This transformative investment in New York’s ConnectALL program will be a gamechanger in advancing our statewide strategy to make affordable, high-speed internet available to all,” Hochul said. “In today’s economy, reliable broadband access is an absolute necessity, and I thank the Biden administration, Majority Leader [Chuck] Schumer, Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand, and New York’s congressional delegation for continuing to prioritize critical infrastructure needs and for supporting our mission to expand broadband to every corner of our state.”

Kentucky has been allocated $1.08 billion specifically for building high-speed internet infrastructure in the state. “In today’s digital age, it’s essential that Kentucky’s communities, from rural towns to urban centers, have access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, in a press release. “Today’s federal funding will deploy internet infrastructure to communities across the Commonwealth that need it most, bringing new opportunity to millions of Kentuckians.”

Delaware has received $107 million in federal funding. Governor John Carney and Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long emphasized the importance of broadband access for education, job prospects, and overall success and well-being.

“Somewhere in Delaware right now there’s a child without access to online educational learning; a mom without a job and no way to research prospects; and a neighbor with no way to check in on their extended family,” Hall-Long said. “That should never be anyone’s reality. Like a digital railroad track, broadband internet access is the connector to jobs, opportunities, and support away from home. This recent investment in high-quality broadband is just another way to close the digital divide and ensure every Delawarean is successful and thriving.”

Michigan is set to receive over $1.5 billion through the BEAD Program to expand high-speed internet access and digital equity to over 200,000 unserved and underserved Michiganders. Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer emphasized the economic opportunities and improved access to education and healthcare that this investment will bring.

“Today, we have won a game-changing investment to expand access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet to 210,000 more homes across Michigan,” said Whitmer. “We are focused on helping anyone ‘Make it in Michigan,’ with a comprehensive view on economic development that wins projects, invests in people, and revitalizes places. Today’s win will expand economic opportunity for Michiganders and build on the over $700 million in high-speed internet federal funding we have leveraged and $249 million we invested with the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan last year. Let’s keep working together to connect more families and small businesses to fast, reliable high-speed internet that meets their needs, lowers their costs, and grows our economy.”

The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association expressed support for the funding allocations. “Today is another milestone step in the process to ready the states and territories for the deployment of this generational BEAD funding investment,” said President and CEO Todd Schlekeway.

While the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association said in a statement that the announcement marks an “important milestone” and “much work has been accomplished to get the $42.5 billion plan to this point…much work lies ahead.”

“Important details remain, however, which require ironing out for BEAD to quickly and efficiently realize its goals,” said David Zumwalt, president and CEO of the industry association. “All solutions should be on the table. Pernicious and wasteful overbuilding must be strenuously avoided. Access to the state grant process should work to truly invite small players so more answers can be brought to bear on this national challenge. Clarifying these and other matters will improve the program for all involved, especially those who lack broadband.”

With files from reporters Quinn Nghiem and Enoch Eicher.

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House Democrat Introduces Bill to Add Local Parks to E-Rate Program

The Technology in the Parks Act would also put parks in line for used computers and equipment from federal agencies.



Screenshot of Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois, at a House hearing on November 15.

WASHINGTON, December 1, 2023 – A House Democrat announced on Friday a bill that would fund broadband internet and devices for public parks.

The Technology in the Parks Act would expand the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program to include local parks. That program currently provides approximately $4 billion in yearly broadband subsidies for schools and libraries through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund. Adding public parks would allow them to request government money toward the cost of internet each month.

The move is “crucial to bringing broadband access to these community spaces,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Danny Davis, D-Illinois, in a statement.

In an effort to provide devices on the subsidized connection, the bill would also put parks in the U.S. General Services Administration’s Computers for Learning program. That would give parks access to computer equipment no longer being used by federal agencies. 

The bill would also tap the Department of Labor to implement a grant program for “technology training programs” in local parks.

Similar programs aimed at helping people navigate and participate in online spaces are drawing funds from other federal agencies. The Commerce Department’s $42.5 billion broadband expansion program makes room for states to fund digital literacy trainings, and its $2.75 billion Digital Equity Act programs are targeted at such efforts.

Reps. Raúl Grijalva, D-Arizona, and Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas, introduced a similar bill on November 29 that would expand broadband in national parks managed by the federal government.

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Broadband Mapping & Data

Robocalls, Rip and Replace, Pole Attachments: More Notes From the FCC Oversight Hearing

Commissioners and House lawmakers discussed key topics at a contentious hearing.



Screenshot of commissioners at the hearing Thursday.

WASHINGTON, December 1, 2023 – All five Federal Communications Commissioners took part in a lengthy and at times contentious House oversight hearing on Thursday.

Commissioners urged Congress to restore the FCC’s authority to action spectrum, which expired in March and left the nation’s airwaves in limbo, and to fund the Affordable Connectivity Program, the low-income internet subsidy set to dry up in April of next year. 

GOP lawmakers FCC Republicans also took the chance to slam efforts by the commission’s Democratic majority.

The discussion touched on other issues including robocall prevention, rip and replace funding, and pole attachments.


The commission has been taking action on preventing robocalls this year, kicking off an inquiry into using artificial intelligence to detect fraud, blocking call traffic from 20 providers for lax enforcement policies and issuing hundreds of millions in fines. In August the commission also expanded the STIR/SHAKEN regime – a set of measures to confirm caller identities – to all providers who handle call traffic.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asked multiple times for three Congressional actions she said would help the commission crack down on scam calls: a new definition for “autodialer,” the ability to collect fines, and access to Bank Secrecy Act information.

The Supreme Court limited the definition of autodialers in 2021 to devices that store or produce phone numbers with random or sequential number generators. That leaves the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which guides the FCC’s authority, “stuck in the nineties,” according to Rosenworcel.

“A lot of scam artists are using technologies no longer covered” by the act, she said. “We can’t go after them.”

On collecting robocall fines, that authority currently rests with the Department of Justice, and Rosenworcel is not the first to tell Congress the agency’s enforcement has been lax. Industry groups at an October Senate hearing cited slow DOJ action as a major reason FCC fines on the issue often go uncollected.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to keep records on certain transactions to help law enforcement agencies track money laundering and other criminal activity. The FCC cannot access information governed by the act, which Rosenworcel said would help the commission go after repeat scammers.

“These scam artists set up one company, we shut them down, they go and set another one up,” she said.

Rip and replace

Commissioners urged Congress to fund the rip and replace program. Congress allocated $1.9 billion to reimburse broadband companies for replacing network equipment from Chinese companies deemed to be national security threats, mainly Huawei and ZTE.

The FCC was tasked with overseeing the program and found in 2022 that another $3 billion would be needed to get the work done. The Biden administration joined a chorus of lawmakers and broadband companies in calling for Congress to fill the gap, but legislation on the issue has yet to be passed.

“We’re providing 40 cents on the dollar to a lot of small and rural carriers,” said Rosenworcel. “They need more funds to get the job done.”

The commission has been granting extensions to providers unable to get the work done on time. In addition to supply chain issues, some small providers cite a lack of funding as the reason they’re unable to replace insecure equipment.

Pole attachments

Commissioners expressed a willingness to shift some of the burden of utility pole replacements off of broadband providers as they attach new equipment.

“If a pole is getting replaced,” Commissioner Brendan Carr said, “there’s probably a role for the FCC to say that the pole owner should bear somewhere north of the cost of $0.”

The commission has authority in 26 states over most pole attachment deals between utility pole owners and telecommunications companies looking to expand their networks. The issue of who pays for poles that need to be replaced to accommodate more communications equipment is contentious, with telecoms arguing utilities force them to pay for replacing already junk poles. 

After spending years sifting through thousands of comments, commissioners have apparently been persuaded. Rules up for a vote at the commission’s December meeting would limit the scenarios in which utilities could pass full replacement costs on to attachers.

Broadband funding map

Rosenworcel repeatedly asked lawmakers to work with the commission on ensuring its broadband funding map is kept up to date.

The FCC launched its funding map in May to keep track of the myriad federal broadband subsidy efforts and avoid funding the same areas multiple times. The Department of Agriculture, the FCC, and the Treasury Department each oversee separate broadband funding programs, in addition to the Commerce Department’s upcoming $42.5 billion broadband expansion effort.

The commission has signed memoranda of understanding with those agencies on providing data for the funding map, but Rosenworcel asked the subcommittee for help ensuring the agencies follow through and respond to FCC requests for their funding data. 

“If you could help us make sure those other agencies respond to us with data, you’ll see where there are problems, duplication, areas we haven’t reached,” she said.

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John English: Isolating Last-Mile Service Disruptions in Evolved Cable Networks

The adoption of new technologies presents operators with a plethora of new variables to manage on the user control plane.



The author of this Expert Opinion is John English, Director of Service Provider Marketing and Business Development for Netscout

Cable operators are increasingly investing in next-generation network infrastructure, including upgrades to support distributed access architecture and fiber to the home.

By bringing this infrastructure closer to subscribers, cable operators are evolving their networks, adopting greater virtualization  and redistributing key elements toward the edges. They expect these changes to increase their network’s interoperability and, ultimately, improve the speed and uptime available to subscribers. In turn, cable operators expect these new capabilities will help redefine what services they can offer.

However, these new advanced networks are much more complex than previous generations. By virtualizing or cloudifying functions at the edge, operators risk losing the sort of visibility that is essential to rapidly pinpointing the source of service disruptions – and ensuring their networks are meeting desired performance thresholds for next-gen applications.

The challenge of complexity in virtualized networks

As cable networks evolve, so does their complexity. The adoption of technologies like virtualized Cable Modem Termination Systems (vCMTS) and distributed access architecture presents operators with a plethora of new variables to manage, particularly on the user control plane.

Always-on applications and those applications that are most sensitive to network performance changes, such as video games, AR/VR, and remotely-piloted drones, to name just a few examples, require continuous measurement and monitoring for reliability. But ensuring consistent quality of service under all conditions the network may face is no small feat.

To illustrate, let’s consider how cable operators will manage disruptions in a virtualized environment. When issues inevitably pop up, will they be able to isolate the problem virtually, or will they need to dispatch a technician to investigate? Additionally, once a technician is onsite, will they have advanced intelligence to determine if the source of the problem is hardware or software-related?

Or will they need to update or replace multiple systems (e.g., consumer premesis equipment, optical network terminals, router, modem, etc.) to try to resolve the problem? Finally, will they need to also investigate additional network termination points if that doesn’t do the trick?

Indeed, each time a truck or technician is dispatched represents a significant outpouring of resources, and adopting a trial-and-error, process-of-elimination approach to resolution is a costly means of restoring service that cable operators cannot afford at scale. Likewise, the customers that depend the most on constant network availability and performance for various uses, such as content distribution networks, transportation services, and industrial manufacturers, won’t tolerate significant disruptions for long.

Packet monitoring for rapid resolution of last-mile disruptions

In the evolving landscape of cable networks, where downtime can lead to customer dissatisfaction, churn, and revenue loss, rapid resolution of last-mile service disruptions is paramount. Cable operators need more advanced network telemetry to understand where – and why – disruptions are occurring. In short, evolved networks require evolved monitoring. This starts with deep packet inspection at scale.

Packets don’t lie, so they offer an excellent barometer into the health of both the control and user planes. Additionally, they can help determine last-mile & core latency per subscriber, as well as by dimension, so operators can test how different configurations affect performance.

Additionally, in the event of a major service disruption, packet monitoring at the edge enables operators to accurately measure how many subscribers are out of service – regardless of whatever hardware or software they’re using – and determine if there’s a common reason for mass outages to help technicians resolve any problems faster. Finally, proactive monitoring, especially when combined with artificial intelligence, empowers operators to detect and address potential issues before they impact subscribers.≠

All in all, cable operators are navigating a challenging yet exciting era of network evolution. The transition to advanced infrastructure and the demand for high-quality, low-latency services necessitate sophisticated monitoring and diagnostic tools. Deep packet inspection technology will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of evolved cable networks.

Additionally, in the quest to maintain the quality of service expected by subscribers, operators must abandon the costly process-of-elimination approach and adopt rapid resolution techniques. By doing so, they will not only reduce service disruption but also make more efficient use of resources, ultimately benefiting both their bottom line and the end user’s experience. Evolved cable networks require evolved strategies, and rapid issue isolation through advanced monitoring must be at the forefront of this transformation.

John English is Director of Service Provider Marketing and Business Development at Netscout’s Service Provider unit. He has an extensive background in telecom, including a decade at a major communications service provider and numerous OEMs and ecosystem partners. English is an expert on how communications service providers can successfully implement new technologies like 5G and virtualization/cloudification while continually assuring the performance of their networks and services. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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