All 56 States and Territories Submit BEAD Initial Proposals

The NTIA confirmed it received all plans for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program by the December 27 deadline.

All 56 States and Territories Submit BEAD Initial Proposals
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WASHINGTON, December 28, 2023 – All 56 states and territories have submitted their initial proposals for implementing the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program.

A National Telecommunications and Information Administration spokesperson told Broadband Breakfast in an email on Thursday it received all proposals by the

December 27 filing deadline.

Those proposals come in two volumes, which states and territories could submit separately or together. The first volume details how the entities plan to accept and adjudicate challenges to government broadband coverage data, an effort to get an as accurate as possible picture of which homes and businesses lack adequate internet access. The second volume outlines how states and territories are looking to fund new infrastructure with their BEAD allocations.

The December 27 deadline went into effect when the NTIA formally made those allocations on June 30 – recipients were given 180 days after that notice to submit initial proposals under BEAD rules.

Now, the timeline will depend on NTIA approval of the submitted plans. Once volume one is approved, states and territories can begin their challenge processes. Most are slated to adjudicate challenges within 90 days, but the agency allows for up to 120. After receiving approval on volume two, entities will have exactly one year to review grant applications and make tentative awards, which will be submitted to the NTIA in a final proposal.

Once that final proposal gets the go-ahead, projects can start breaking ground in earnest.

Some early bird states were able to get the process started already. Louisiana got its volume one approved in September and is slated to wrap up its challenge process in the coming weeks. The state was also the first to have its volume two approved on December 15, giving it one year from that date to award grants for new broadband infrastructure.

Virginia and Kansas also received approval on their volume ones and their challenge processes are underway.

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