Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) ProgramThe BEAD Program was allocated $42.45 billion by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) to expand high-speed internet access across the country by funding broadband planning, deployment, mapping, equity, and adoption projects and activities.
Connecticut will receive $144 million to enhance broadband in the state.
This competitive grant program will fund the deployment of broadband service to unserved and underserved locations. After all locations have been served, remaining funds will be used to support access, adoption, and equity related projects, such as the deployment of gigabit connections to community anchor institutions.
Five-Year Action Plan
The plan serves as a strategic roadmap to achieve the state’s broadband goals and serves as a comprehensive needs assessment that will inform the next steps of the funding process. Submission of the plan to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) also brings the state one step closer to receiving the more than $144 million awarded to Connecticut through the BEAD Program this summer.
Initial Proposal Volume 2
DEEP is requesting feedback on Volume 2 of its Initial Proposal as part of the BEAD Program. Volume 2 includes the remaining components of the BEAD Program, including the subgrantee selection process and scoring criteria for the award of grant funds, the state’s plan for workforce development, strategies to create efficiencies and cost savings, an assessment of weather and climate-related risks, and other critical information. DEEP requests comments affirming positions and directions as well as those recommending alternate approaches.
The public comment period will be open until 5:00 PM on Friday, December 8, 2023. Comments may be submitted via email to DEEP.Broadband@ct.gov, or by mail to 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051. DEEP invites input from stakeholder groups, including Internet Service Providers, community-based organizations, state and local government agencies, and the public, in accordance with the BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).Upon approval from NTIA, DEEP will publicly post the final Initial Proposal on its website. Please see the full Notice for more information.
Initial Proposal Volume 1
The public comment period for Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal closed on November 17, 2023. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process. DEEP is now in the process of incorporating feedback. The completed Initial Proposal will be posted once available.
Volume 1 was designed to reflect the strategy and principles outlined in Connecticut’s Five-Year Broadband Action Plan and details the following:
- Existing Broadband Funding: Identifies existing efforts funded by the federal government or the State of Connecticut to deploy broadband and close the digital divide.
- Unserved and Underserved Locations: Identifies each unserved location and underserved location using the most recently published Broadband DATA Maps.
- Community Anchor Institutions: Describes how the State of Connecticut applied the statutory definition of the term “community anchor institution,” identified all eligible CAIs.
- Challenge Process: Describes a framework for a challenge process in which a unit of local government, nonprofit organization, or Internet service provider may challenge whether a location or community anchor institution is eligible for BEAD funding, including whether a location has limited or no Internet service.