Recently the Biden Administration announced its “Internet for All” initiative funded by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. That initiative includes the first solicitation for the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. This will present an exciting opportunity for utilities to deploy broadband service to “unserved” locations – those offering either no broadband service or speeds below 25/3 downstream-upstream megabits per second (Mbps) – and “underserved” locations – those offering speeds of 100/20 downstream-upstream Mbps.
States seeking these funds have until July 18th to submit a letter of intent demonstrating their need for BEAD dollars. Once the FCC publishes its broadband coverage maps highlighting each state’s unserved and underserved areas, NTIA will allocate BEAD funds among participating states who can subgrant with eligible entities with a 25% cash or in-kind match requirement. As public utilities and co-ops, Tantalus users will be among those who are eligible for these funds.
NTIA strongly encourages eligible entities to use BEAD funds to provide gigabit connections to “community anchor institutions” lacking connectivity such as libraries and community centers. The BEAD program also prioritizes last-mile infrastructure projects providing fiber connectivity directly to end users. Participating states must develop plans to address middle-class affordability, and must offer a low-cost option to eligible subscribers in an effort to further BEAD’s goal of making networks affordable for and accessible to all Americans.
We’re at the starting line for these funds. When the state process arrives at the point where they are ready to competitively award funds to sub-grantees like you, we’ll be here to help you navigate this process. And you can always visit Explore Federal Funding Solutions with Tantalus for federal funding resources, past webinars, and to get in touch with our federal funding consultant.
Learn more about high-speed internet for all.