ACA Connects and the NTCA-the Rural Broadband Association have teamed up to track the billions of dollars in broadband subsidies flowing from President Biden's infrastructure package.
The largest outlay in the $65 billion for broadband deployment and adoption is the $42.5 billion in state grants in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) initiative being overseen by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.
Since both associations represent smaller, often rural, ISPs, they stand to be big beneficiaries of the program.
To make sure their members can draw a bead on that big and potentially lucrative target, NTCA and ACA Connects are teaming up on a state-by-state tracking project as the states begin to roll out their respective programs next year, including deadlines for application and challenge processes for whether a location is served or underserved, to make sure that the money is not being spent to overbuild existing systems.
The tracking project will be available only to members of the associations.
"At the end of the day, making sure you are well-armed with information will help you seize the BEAD Program’s opportunities and reduce any harms," said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield. ■
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.