The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), provides $42.45 billion of funding to states, territories and the District of Columbia (“Eligible Entities”) for broadband planning, deployment, mapping, equity, and adoption activities. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), as the agency responsible for administering the BEAD program, issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity describing the program’s requirements, including the requirement that each Eligible Entity submit an Initial Proposal describing, among other things, a BEAD “challenge process” under which a unit of local government, nonprofit organization, or broadband service provider may challenge a determination made by the Eligible Entity in the Initial Proposal as to whether a particular location or community anchor institution is eligible for BEAD funds, including whether a particular location is unserved or underserved.
NTIA sought feedback from the public from April 25, 2023, to May 5, 2023, on:
- A BEAD Challenge Process Policy Notice to provide Eligible Entities with additional guidance on how to design and conduct their BEAD challenge process; and
- A Model BEAD Challenge Process.
NTIA thanks the 61 stakeholders that filed comments. Comments, final versions of the guidance incorporating feedback from those comments, and versions with redlines against the draft versions are provided for convenience below.
Further questions regarding the challenge process may be directed to BEAD@ntia.gov.