BEAD Program Requests for Initial Planning Funds Due
Congress has set up a three-step process for states to receive their infrastructure money: submitting and gaining approval for 1) a letter of intent, 2) an initial proposal, and 3) a final proposal (collectively, a “covered application”). Upon receipt of the Letter of Intent, NTIA will provide the Point of Contact for each Eligible Entity instructions on how to submit a request for Initial Planning Funds through the application portal at https://grants.ntia.gov/. These instructions will provide additional information regarding what materials must be submitted, including but not limited to standard forms and a budget narrative.
Eligible Entities that receive Initial Planning Funds may use those funds for the following planning and pre-deployment activities:
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations consistent with the rules, regulations, and processes the Federal Communications Commission has established for making these determinations in the Broadband DATA Maps;
- The development of a preliminary budget for pre-planning activities;
- Publications, outreach, and communications support related to broadband planning, deployment, mapping, equity and adoption;
- Providing technical assistance to potential subgrantees, including through workshops and events;
- Training for employees of the broadband program or office of the Eligible Entity or employees of political subdivisions of the Eligible Entity, and related staffing capacity or consulting or contracted support to effectuate the goals of the BEAD Program;
- Establishing, operating, or increasing capacity of a broadband office that oversees broadband programs and broadband deployment in an Eligible Entity;
- Asset mapping across the Eligible Entity to catalogue broadband adoption, affordability, equity, access and deployment activities occurring within the Eligible Entity;
- Conducting surveys of unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities to better understand barriers to adoption;
- Costs associated with meeting local coordination requirements including capacity building at the local and regional levels or contracted support;
- Reasonable post-NOFO, pre-Initial Planning Funds expenses in an amount not to exceed $100,000 relating to the preparation of program submissions to NTIA (such as the Letter of Intent) or adding additional capacity to State or Territorial broadband offices in preparation for the BEAD Program may be reimbursed if they are incurred after the publication date of this NOFO and prior to the date of issuance of the grant award from NTIA; and
- Other uses approved in advance writing by the Assistant Secretary (including in response to an Eligible Entity’s request) that support the goals of the Program.