Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program

The 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, any remaining funds will be used to support deployment of gigabit connections to community anchor institutions and digital equity related projects.

For information on Connecticut's digital equity programming and to read the State's Draft Digital Equity Plan, click here

BEAD graphic

 

Challenge Process

As required by statute, the initial eligibility determinations for funding eligibility under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program are based on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Map.  

 

The BEAD Program’s State Challenge Process is designed to provide stakeholders in Connecticut with an opportunity to participate in the process of challenging the eligibility of locations for BEAD funding. Based on the process approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), challengers will be able to dispute the data sourced from the National Broadband Map by using relevant and allowable evidence.  

Eligible challengers include local governments, Tribal governments, nonprofits, and broadband service providers. While NTIA requirements do not allow individuals to submit challenges directly, residents of Connecticut may work with eligible challengers to identify inaccuracies.

DEEP will release more information on the Challenge Process including dates and instructions for challengers upon approval of Volume 1 of its Initial Proposal. Please contact DEEP.Broadband@ct.gov with questions.

Obtaining CostQuest BSL Fabric Licenses

To administer the BEAD program, DEEP is required to use the FCC National Broadband Map as the baseline, which provides reported broadband availability data at the location level and relies on a proprietary dataset to provide the location data. DEEP was required to enter into a license agreement with CostQuest Associates, the owner of the dataset, to access the data for the purposes of the BEAD program including the challenge process. The terms of this license agreement restrict DEEP from making the data fully available to stakeholders participating in the challenge process.  

Participants in the challenge process are eligible to apply for their own licenses with CostQuest. The NTIA entered into a contract with CostQuest to cover the cost of these licenses, so there is no expense to the licensees.

A CostQuest License may not be required to file challenges directly through the challenge portal. However, if you are considering submitting bulk challenges, DEEP recommends that you obtain a license from CostQuest.

There are two tiers of licenses relevant for the BEAD Program:

 

Initial PropoBroadband Initial Proposal coversal
The Initial Proposal is the “first draft” of DEEP’s Final Proposal for BEAD grant funding, and, among other things, explains how Connecticut will ensure that every resident has access to a reliable, affordable, and high-speed broadband connection. After a public comment period, Volumes 1 and 2 of Connecticut’s Initial Proposal were submitted to the NTIA on December 27, 2023. Once approved, the final document will be posted here.    
 

 

 

Broadband Action Plan cover

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 NTIA also brings the state one step closer to receiving the more than $144 million awarded to Connecticut through the BEAD Program. 
 
 
 
 

 

BEAD Resources 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Content last updated January, 2024