Think you can complete your BEAD application in 90 days? Think again.
January 18, 2024
If you're waiting for your state's application, you'll be too late.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration provided further details about dates and deadline in an overview webinar about the three Notices of Funding Opportunity released on May 13.
The overview webinar, on May 23, also reviewed the requirements and eligible entities in the webinar.
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program will provide funds to states and territory governments. The first step in the application process is providing a letter of intent to NTIA. These letters are due by July 19. Shortly thereafter, entities will be able to access the application for a $5 million planning fund, due in August. The BEAD program requires a 25% match which may be waived on case-by-case basis.
The Digital Equity Fund is available to states for states to make subgrants to other entities such as municipalities and community anchor institutions. The Digital Equity application for states is completed through the NTIA grant portal and is due July 12. Tribal communities must supply a letter of intent by the same date. The Digital Equity fund does not require any match but encourages collaboration and leveraging other resources available to the states.
Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure program has the largest group of eligible entities which includes, among others; states, political subdivisions of states, tribal governments, utility companies, telecom providers, nonprofit organizations, and any partnership of eligible entities. However, this program requires a 30% match with no potential waiving except to tribal governments.
The Middle Mile program application will open on June 21 with applications due on September 30. A Middle mile application packet is supplied with a list of questions that will be asked on the application, templates, and documents that will need to be filled out. Guidance for filling out templates and documents will be provided.