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

About the Challenge Process

The BEAD Challenge Process is critical because it determines the locations and community anchor institutions within Connecticut that are potentially eligible for BEAD funding. Per the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) requirements, the State used the National Broadband Map as a starting point to identify the list of BEAD-eligible locations within its jurisdiction. DEEP will review and potentially modify the designation of a location as served, underserved, or unserved on the National Broadband Map through the 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.  

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.

 Phase   Dates
 Challenge Phase (deadline extended)  April 1 -May 14
 Rebuttal Phase  May 24- June 22
 Final Determination Phase  June 23 - July 22
Get Ready 


Eligible challengers may now register for the challenge process. 

Register and Learn More

Per the Challenge Process as outlined in Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal, DEEP has published a list of BEAD-eligible unserved, underserved, and served locations, as well as identified Community Anchor Institutions, using Fabric version 3.2 and availability data from the National Broadband Map as of February 20, 2024: 

The locations posted in the files above have been deduplicated. The methodology is available in the Initial Proposal. 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.  


DEEP will be hosting Office Hours to support challengers during the BEAD Challenge Process. Office Hours will be held via Zoom. Register for one or more sessions below.  

  • April 8th at 10:30 am: Register here
  • April 15th at 2:30 pm: Register here

Please contact 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 Proposal

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.

Click here to read Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal.

Click here to read DEEP's response to public comments submitted for Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal. 


Five- YeBroadband Action Plan coverar 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. 

Click here to read the Five Year Action Plan


BEAD Resources 

BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity 


FCC National Broadband Map 

About CostQuest Licensing 

 Content last updated April, 2024