President Biden Plans to Announce BEAD Program Allocations at White House on Monday

Prior announcement date of BEAD allocation funds now set for White House ceremony on Monday, June 26.

President Biden Plans to Announce BEAD Program Allocations at White House on Monday
Photo of White House

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2023 – The Biden Administration is scheduled on Monday to announce at the White House the allocation to individual states of broadband infrastructure funds under the government’s Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program.

The allocation announcement has been eagerly anticipated for at least five months. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Commerce Department, which is responsible for the $42.5 billion BEAD program, had previously set a June 30 date for announcing the allocation amounts.

Don’t miss the discussion of the broadband, semiconductor manufacturing and green energy at Broadband Breakfast’s Made in America Summit on Tuesday, June 27.

BEAD is the largest of the $65 billion in broadband programs under the bipartisan infrastructure law, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. There are other, smaller projects funded by the IIJA, including programs funding middle mile grants, digital equity planning grounds, expanding Tribal broadband funding and standing up the Affordable Connectivity Fund.

Unlike middle mile infrastructure grants, which connect local neighbors with interconnection points, BEAD is designed primarily to support last-mile infrastructure, access and deployment.

Funds will be disbursed to states, which will be responsible to connect unserved and underserved communities. The IIJA defines “unserved” as homes that lack access to broadband at 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload. “Underserved” homes are defined as those that lack access to 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up.

Already several states, including Louisiana, Maine, and Utah, have released their state broadband and digital equity plans. These plans highlight state priorities and subgrantee processes for their BEAD fund awards.

The Indiana Broadband Office is eagerly awaiting Monday’s announcement, State Broadband Director Earnie Holtrey told Broadband Breakfast. “We stand ready to leverage BEAD, along with ongoing state efforts, to connect every remaining unserved Indiana resident to affordable, reliable broadband.”

Allocation levels to eligible entities are based on the second version of the Federal Communications Commission’s national broadband map. The new version, released earlier this month, identifies nearly 330,000 new unserved locations and updates availability data for more than 3 million locations.

However, state broadband officials are finding discrepancies between what they see on the ground and what the FCC’s maps report. Many are concerned that the inaccuracies in the map will unfairly influence NTIA allocations of BEAD funds.

Popular Tags