NTIA Approves Three More BEAD Proposals

NTIA approved the District of Columbia, Delaware and Washington state’s Initial Proposals for the BEAD program. It means they can now seek access to funding and for broadband infrastructure deployments and upgrades.

The District of Columbia will receive $100 million, Delaware is eligible for $107 million and Washington State is to receive $1.2 billion. The three join Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, and West Virginia in completing 10 out of 10 phases for their initial proposals, Inside Towers reported.  

BEAD is a $42.45 billion state grant program authorized by the bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used on high-speed internet adoption, training, and workforce development efforts, among other eligible uses.

BEAD-eligible entities—the 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia—are required to submit an initial proposal for NTIA’s approval detailing how they plan to spend their BEAD allocation to deliver high-speed internet access to all unserved and underserved locations within their borders.

NTIA will continue to announce approval of initial proposals on a rolling basis. One year from initial proposal approval, states must submit a final proposal that details the outcome of the subgrantee selection process and how the state will ensure universal coverage.

“Delaware plans to be the first state in the country to have every home and business connected to high-speed Internet, and this approval is one of the last steps before we can actually start the work, hopefully later this year,” said Governor John Carney. “We can now move forward with selecting the providers that will serve almost 6,000 homes and businesses in Delaware that currently do not have the internet speeds necessary for learning, work, telemedicine and online life that most of us take for granted.”

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said: “By ensuring District residents, businesses, and institutions have access to affordable, high-speed internet – and supporting them with trainings on digital literacy and workforce development – we can give more people in the District a fair shot, and remain a leader in tech careers, talent, and innovation.” 

“The BEAD Program has played a crucial role in bridging the digital divide and helping us meet our goal to bring Internet access to every person across Washington State,” said Governor Jay Inslee. He added he’s grateful for NTIA’s approval and looks forward “to the Washington State Broadband Office’s continued success in submitting proposals ensuring more Washingtonians and Tribal nations receive internet access.”

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

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