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BEAD Grant Applications are Now Open for Local Providers Thumbnail Image

BEAD Grant Applications are Now Open for Local Providers

Great news last week: all 50 states and 5 territories and the District of Columbia announced their intention to come on board for Access for All. This means it’s Go Time for local providers and communities preparing to get their share of the historic program.

On behalf of the Broadband.money and Ready teams, we are thankful you are undertaking the quest to help end the digital divide once and for all. Enrollment is now open for local providers intending to pursue BEAD grants.

Our goal is to make the process of applying for BEAD grants as easy as possible. We've done that in several ways: helping you to learn, providing you with data and maps, as well as access to experts and a community.

We built Broadband.money for local providers and the communities you serve to get the lion’s share of our nation’s largest-ever historic investment in broadband. We believe you are better qualified than national incumbents to get the job done, even if you might not have on-hand the array of resources you will need in order to get your share.

You have the grit and genuine desire to get the job done. With the right resources in hand, you can get it done.

To get your share of BEAD, you’ll need:

  • Deep expertise in broadband grants, GIS, and community relations
  • At least 25% of the amount you’re applying to win – with documented proof up front
  • Tools for advanced geospatial analysis across complex data sets, and empirical data analysis
  • Hundreds of hours to build each of your project applications separately

With Broadband.money, you get a partner and platform with:

  • Built-in tools and resources to help you navigate grants, data, and effective community engagement
  • A common foundation – build one or more project applications from a single set of inputs
  • A collaborative platform – invite your consultants and other stakeholders to manage specific parts of your application journey
  • A lot of your time back – you’re busy connecting families and businesses to broadband
  • An easy way to apply once for matching funds from a variety of sources, including equity, debt, and letter of credit providers
  • A community of broadband pros who want to help you win
  • Loads of other time-saving resources including office hours with former NTIA execs, annotated guides, and more

What’s inside?

1. An A to Z Curriculum: Guides, Lessons & Templates

Broadband.money is curriculum-based, so you can work through your journey on your terms according to your timeline, at your pace. This way, you can work in logical units over the coming months in accordance with the requirements of the grant programs.

  • Guides walk you through the questions needed in order to build your most effective broadband grant project proposals, and get you oriented for the next steps in your journey, such as partnering with great communities and lining up matching fund sources.
  • Lessons go into more detail about specific topics and themes you’ll need to know about in order to reach your full project proposal potential. This way, you’ll have the knowledge you need to answer questions with confidence.
  • Templates assist you in composing responses to structured inputs, such as BEAD grant pro forma, and more.

Together, these building blocks will help you compose your best IIJA broadband grant project proposals starting with the groundwork for BEAD.

2. Powerful, Easy-to-Use Geospatial Tools

Get to know your territory and areas of interest in an all-new light. Quickly build up your understanding of the areas for which you might apply. Get filterable address-level insights and multiple points of view on current service, competition, and socio-demographics – all in a single place. Best of all, you can import and export to popular formats so you can use your existing geo tools.

3. Dashboard + Area Analysis

Track your journey to win broadband grants with a dashboard overview, and get into detail about areas of interest you’re looking to take on – months ahead before the Federal Communications Commission publishes its own national map known as the “Fabric.” Stay informed with community events, industry updates and more.

Soon, the Community Broadband Toolkit will allow the communities you’re partnering with to get going on their side with community broadband performance data collection.

 

Why Now?

While each state will have its own project-level requirements, the core of what you’re going to need to produce is already well-documented by the NTIA’s NOFO. Think of it like Turbotax – you can do your main “application” (1040 federal return) and then later do your state-level “applications” (returns).

States will finalize submission requirements in a few months. Meanwhile, your application model is safely stored while you develop answers, team up with collaborators, and make progress through developing your proposals. This way, when your states of interest open their portals, you’ll be ready.

While it’s certainly possible to wait on state plans and Fabric maps, it’s not clear that’s a winning strategy. Three reasons you should consider starting now:

Incumbents aren’t waiting

Local providers and the communities they’re teaming up with to serve need every advantage in the fight to divert resources from where they’ve historically gone.

While FCC Fabric will surely be light years ahead of Form 477 self-reporting, the self-reported nature of the data still remains a risk for local providers and communities who need better broadband. It’s worth having a different point of view. Luckily, NTIA allows for challenges to Fabric data.

Neither is your competition – current or future

If you’ve been the only game in town for years, you might be caught off guard by the number of new entrants popping up as a result of our nation’s largest-ever investment in broadband. BEAD provides the resources to defend, strengthen and increase your territory… but only if you apply and win.

You need matching funds up front

For many local providers and communities, the minimum 25% matching fund requirement – with proof required at the time of filing your proposals – will be the Achilles heel for otherwise great applications. With Broadband.money, qualified providers will be able to line up matching funds from a range of sources. This way, otherwise capable, qualified local providers, and the communities they are serving, won’t be left in the dust by well-funded rivals.

Get Started on BEAD Grant Applications

If you’re already pre-enrolled, look for your email invitation to join Broadband.money. The first guide you’ll complete is Getting Ready for BEAD.

If you haven't enrolled for free, do so now.
Questions, or not seeing your invitation? Please ping us anytime.

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