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.
$930M Boosts Middle-Mile Broadband Projects
The Biden administration has allocated $930 million for 35 broadband projects, focusing on expanding the “middle-mile” infrastructure. This funding will connect regional fiber networks to local networks, enhancing internet access. Projects include undersea routes, rural connectivity, and upgrading existing infrastructure. The awarded organizations have provided $848 million in matching funds.
West Virginia Secures Funding for Broadband Expansion Projects
West Virginia receives additional funding for broadband expansion projects, with over 86,000 new unserved locations identified on updated FCC coverage maps. Senators Capito and Manchin emphasize the importance of ensuring accurate mapping to allocate funds properly and address the challenges faced by underserved areas. The goal is to provide reliable and affordable broadband access to all residents, particularly those affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan Act contribute to the funding efforts.
Pennsylvania Falls Short in FCC Appeal, Faces Reduced Funding for Broadband Expansion
Pennsylvania’s appeal to the FCC to fix its broadband coverage map fell short, resulting in a reduction of federal funding for broadband expansion in the state. The state had identified 50,000 more areas without adequate internet connections, but the revised map only increased the count of unserved sites slightly. The inaccurate map may lead to Pennsylvania receiving $49.5 million less in BEAD funds, limiting its ability to address the state’s broadband infrastructure needs. The failure to challenge the map adequately could result in millions of dollars lost for Pennsylvania’s broadband development.
Michigan Secures $61 Million Grant to Expand High-Speed Internet Access Across the State
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a $61 million grant awarded to Peninsula Fiber Network (PFN) by the NTIA. The grant, funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, aims to connect unserved and underserved communities in Michigan with quality, affordable high-speed internet. The project, known as the Infrastructure for Michigan’s Peninsula and Critical Crossings, will establish 525 miles of middle-mile fiber infrastructure, addressing the unique needs of Michigan’s two-peninsula state. The initiative aims to reduce costs, improve reliability, and strengthen network connections, while closing the digital divide and enhancing opportunities for residents across the state.
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Freed, Benjamin. “NTIA Awards $930M in ‘Middle-mile’ Broadband Grants.” StateScoop, 15 June 2023, statescoop.com/ntia-awards-930m-middle-mile-broadband-grants.
“More Funding Going Toward West Virginia Broadband Expansion Projects | U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.” Shelley Capito, www.capito.senate.gov/news/in-the-news/more-funding-going-toward-west-virginia-broadband-expansion-projects.
Mamalu, Kirs. “Critics: Pa. efforts on getting internet money fall short” The Bradford Era, 12 June 2023, bradfordera.com/news/critics-pa-efforts-on-getting-internet-money-fall-short/article_adf02a8a-0959-11ee-a735-77d9e9ad9ffa.html
Whitmer Announces Michigan Wins Funding to Build 525 Miles of High-Speed Internet. 16 June 2023, www.michigan.gov/leo/news/2023/06/16/whitmer-announces-michigan-wins-funding-to-build-525-miles-of-high-speed-internet.