Future-Focused Network Design Key to Boost Approval Chance for BEAD Grants: Experts

Infrastructure should be built to accommodate future scalability and not merely current demands.

Future-Focused Network Design Key to Boost Approval Chance for BEAD Grants: Experts
Photo of Jay Rolls and Randy Kinsey from Broadband Success Partners at Mountain Connect Wednesday

DENVER, August 11, 2023 – Providers seeking grants from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program can increase their chances of approval by designing their network with long-term durability in mind, said representatives from technical consulting firm Broadband Success Partners Wednesday at the Mountain Connect summit.

Drawing on their experience evaluating more than 60 internet networks, the pair cautioned against constructing networks solely to meet current demands, emphasizing the importance of considering future requirements.

“It works great when it works great,” said Randy Kinsey, senior advisor at the consultancy. “But as soon as something goes wrong, and something always goes wrong, it doesn’t work at all.”

In the case of fiber, if there is insufficient space for potential expansion in the future, companies may encounter difficulties when unexpected issues arise within the fiber network, he noted.

“A lot of times it is just simpler to move to another fiber instead of trying to troubleshoot,” he explained.

In addition, when estimating the expenses for make-ready, which involves adapting existing infrastructure such as utility poles or structures to accommodate new equipment or services, companies should also allocate funds to account for potential cost fluctuations, he continued.

“It’s going to probably take a lot longer than anticipated and cost a bit more than anticipated,” said Kinsey.

Future-proofing, or the preparation of current equipment and infrastructure for future scalability, has garnered support from industry experts and lawmakers alike, who expressed a desire to develop networks capable of accommodating future demands.

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