Our mission is to keep you informed about the latest updates on the Broadband Expansion and Adoption Development (BEAD) Program. In this article, we present a summary of recent developments and funding initiatives related to BEAD. Stay tuned to discover the latest news and advancements in the past week regarding BEAD funding.
Partnering with counties is valuable for electric co-ops seeking funding for the BEAD program’s matching requirement. Rural electric co-op United Fiber’s COO, Darren Farnan, noted that counties can provide funds from federal sources like the Capital Project Fund to support co-ops’ applications. Farnan emphasized the shared goal of expanding high-speed internet and advised early collaboration with counties for funding access. He also highlighted co-ops’ unique advantage in utilizing community buildouts for funding and financing.
Maine has submitted its 5-year broadband action plan to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, marking a crucial step toward accessing the $272 million grant from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program. The plan focuses on prioritizing transparent broadband expansion, fostering partnerships, leveraging networks, and showcasing the benefits of digital inclusion. Maine’s strategy includes initiatives such as a broadband mapping platform, interagency coordination for broadband implementation, and connectivity hubs to support education and telehealth. Upon approval of the initial proposal, states gain access to a minimum of 20 percent of the allocated funds.
Nokia Boosts U.S. Manufacturing for BEAD Program’s Fiber Optic Modules
Nokia has partnered with Fabrinet to manufacture fiber broadband optical modules in the U.S., supporting the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. These optical modules are essential components for high-speed broadband networks, enabling fast connectivity. Manufacturing in California and Wisconsin, Nokia aims to expand its range of products and solutions for network rollouts, ensuring compliance with BEAD funding requirements. Over 70% of North American fiber broadband lines are powered by Nokia, reinforcing the company’s role in bridging the digital divide.
New Financial Model Aids States in BEAD Fiber Broadband Deployment Funding
At Fiber Connect 2023, the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) and Cartesian introduced the BEAD Threshold Financial Model, assisting states in determining Extremely High Cost Per Location Thresholds (EHCT) for fiber broadband projects using BEAD funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The tool employs geospatial analysis to help states calculate cost thresholds tailored to their conditions, aiming to maximize fiber deployment without deterring providers. By addressing this challenge, the FBA aims to support the successful expansion of fiber broadband across the U.S., helping to bridge the digital equity gap.
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Fiber Broadband Association and cartesian expand bead funding resources for State Broadband Offices. Business Wire. (2023, August 21). https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230821495621/en/Fiber-Broadband-Association-and-Cartesian-Expand-BEAD-Funding-Resources-for-State-Broadband-Offices
Nokia Oyj. (2023, August 16). Nokia expands manufacturing in U.S. to fiber broadband optical modules for Bead Program. GlobeNewswire News Room. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/08/16/2726414/0/en/Nokia-expands-manufacturing-in-U-S-to-fiber-broadband-optical-modules-for-BEAD-program.html
Whipple, T. (2023a, August 16). Co-ops can look to counties for bead match requirement. Broadband Breakfast. https://broadbandbreakfast.com/2023/08/co-ops-can-look-to-counties-for-bead-match-requirement/
Whipple, T. (2023, August 19). Maine submitted its bead 5-Year action plan to the NTIA. Broadband Breakfast. https://broadbandbreakfast.com/2023/08/maine-submitted-its-bead-5-year-action-plan-to-the-ntia/