Missouri Opens BEAD Prequalification Process

The process will determine ISP capability to complete the proposed projects.

Missouri Opens BEAD Prequalification Process
Photo of Missouri state capitol

July 5, 2024 – Missouri announced on Wednesday that it opened its prequalification application for the Broadband, equity, Access, and Deployment program.

The prequalification process is the first step in the BEAD program and assesses prospective grantee’s financial managerial and technical qualifications, as well as the experience and capacity of the entities to deploy last mile broadband.

The state said that prequalification must be started before eligible entities can fill out BEAD scoring applications. Applicants will be required to submit entity information, capability to complete prospective projects, public funding it has already received, and compliance to other programs.

Missouri was awarded $1.74 billion through the BEAD program. It released its initial proposal detailing how the money will be used in November for approval from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It is still awaiting volume two approval.

The state is planning to administer two rounds of funding, something the state’s broadband director BJ Tanksley has flagged as being potentially difficult given BEAD’s one year timeframe for grant awards. The MBO said in the proposal a “sub-round” might be necessary if some undeserved and underserved areas receive no applications, and the state might seek an extension from the NTIA.

In April, Missouri closed the challenge process to its state broadband coverage map, which details where BEAD money will fund infrastructure deployment programs. The challenge process allows residents, nonprofits and competing ISPs to challenge coverage claims in certain areas. 

New York, Louisiana and Delaware opened their prequalification application processes in June.

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