Counties are key contributors in the state challenge process for the BEAD program

Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) included passage of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act (DEA) programs, which targets building out broadband infrastructure to every unserved and underserved location across the country as well as funding critical digital equity initiatives across the country, respectively.  

Counties have a key role to play, through local coordinators of broadband infrastructure funding as well as serving as direct subrecipients or funders of local broadband initiatives. This resource hub is intended to guide counties on the key deadlines, pertinent resources, and other initiatives that are critical under the BEAD and DEA programs.

Action Items for Counties

1. Establish a strong relationship with your state broadband office​

Get involved in their planning process as they formulate their Initial and Final Proposal for BEAD funding​

2. Assess current and future broadband needs​

Focus on local broadband availability, infrastructure deployment processes and challenges, and consult county-held data​

3. Advocate for your county’s vulnerable communities​

Targeted outreach and community convening will help boost awareness of the forthcoming funding opportunity​

4. Apply to be a subgrantee​

Counties can apply to directly deploy or fund broadband infrastructure networks – determine if this is a viable solution in your community​

5. Develop data and engage in strategic planning​

Consult county-held data, engage in feasibility and needs assessments, collaborate with neighboring counties and jurisdictions​

Jump to Section

Explore County Data

Who is unserved or underserved in your community? Visit NACo’s County Explorer resource to review updated Census Bureau data on broadband availability, and consult with the FCC’s national broadband availability maps for updated speed reporting for providers in your county.

Programatic Resources

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) has released several guides that can be of critical use to counties.

BEAD Program Resources

The BEAD Program promises to deliver broadband infrastructure to every unserved and underserved location in the country. Learn about how counties can partner and play a key role in the implementation of the program.  

State initial proposals and five year action plans

Review your state’s BEAD program document submissions to understand how your state will be utilizing BEAD funding 

Learn More

Timeline

Review the full implementation timeline of the BEAD program 

Explore the Timeline

State-level allocations

View your state’s funding allocation amount under the BEAD program

View Allocations

Methodology

Review the methodology to which the NTIA determined the level of funding each state would receive 

Review Methodology

NTIA BEAD Initial Proposal Progress Dashboard

Access this interactive dashboard to view the progress your state has made towards implementing the BEAD program’s subgrantee process, which will identify subgrant recipients for deployment of broadband to unserved and underserved locations in your state.

Explore the Dashboard

NACo Resources

Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Toolkit

Are your residents qualifying for the Affordable Connectivity Program? NACo’s Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Toolkit provides key county resources, details on how to get started, county examples and more.

Learn More

County Action Items

Review the county action items for broadband mapping efforts.

Learn More

FCC's Location Fabric

Have you requested access to your county’s version of the Federal Communication Commission’s location fabric, as a part of the Broadband Data Collection process?

Request a Copy

NACo Webinars

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Webinar

How Local Governments Can Stay Involved in NTIA’s BEAD and Digital Equity Programs

Counties have a critical role to play in ensuring their communities have access to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet. The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment and Digital Equity Programs, authorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are groundbreaking programs that will not only connect all Americans to the Internet but also give them the tools and skills to use it. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is offering this webinar to help local government leaders understand these programs and their role in them. This webinar will provide program overviews and action steps on how local leaders can help shape the state of broadband in their communities.

 

NOTE: This webinar is invite-only for NACo members and is sponsored in conjunction with the National League of Cities (NLC), the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), and other local government associations. This is a third-party webinar hosted by the NTIA and questions regarding registration can be sent to internetforall@ntia.gov

 

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Webinar

What is Broadband? A Foundational Review for Counties

Learn about the various technological solutions available for broadband deployment, and engage in a discussion on best practices for assessing technological solutions in your community.

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Webinar

Why Counties Are Central in the Effort to Deploy High-Speed Internet

The county role is pivotal to deploying high-speed internet. Join us for the second installment in the Broadband Boot Camp for Counties series to discover why counties play an essential role as partners, data aggregators, and organizers in the deployment of high-speed internet that is accessible and affordable for all.

This Boot Camp webinar series is provided free of charge. Registration is reserved exclusively for NACo members. To learn more about a NACo membership, please click here. To register for Broadband Boot Camp for Counties Part One or Three, click here.

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Webinar

Effective County Strategies for Broadband Deployment Projects and Partnerships

There are a myriad of ways in which counties can get involved in broadband deployment and adoption efforts. Hear from local government experts for our third and final webinar in the Broadband Boot Camp for Counties series on the top strategies for forming strong partnerships, assessing various financial costs, and ensuring local government interests are preserved in all broadband deployment projects.

This Boot Camp webinar series is provided free of charge. Registration is reserved exclusively for NACo members. To learn more about a NACo membership, please click here. To register for Broadband Boot Camp for Counties Part One or Two, click here. 

Program Contact

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Seamus Dowdall

Associate Legislative Director – Telecommunications & Technology

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