NTIA Eases ISP Fears on BEAD Rules & Low-Cost Service Requirements

NTIA Eases ISP Fears on BEAD Rules & Low-Cost Service Requirements

During a webinar, the NTIA Director said that ISP providers don’t have to worry about reporting and Low-Cost service requirements while applying for BEAD.

Let’s read the news and find out more.

NTIA Eases ISP Fears on BEAD Rules & Low-Cost Service Requirements

During a webinar organized by broadband equipment provider Calix titled “Mastering BEAD Regulations.” the NTIA director Evan Feinman said that ISP providers don’t have to stop themselves from applying for BEAD funding due to reporting and low-cost service requirements.

Due to the running out of funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, many providers are now concerned that they must provide low-cost service to customers.

Earlier, the providers used a $30 ACP discount for low-income people provided by FCC to meet Low-Cost Service Requirements.

Now that it’s almost gone, the providers are worried.

Feinman said states can decide their own Low-Cost Service Requirements. Some states want providers to charge $30 a month.

NTIA Eases ISP Fear on BEAD Rules & Low-Cost Service Requirements
NTIA Eases ISP Fear on BEAD Rules & Low-Cost Service Requirements

But if a provider says it’s too costly, the state might let them charge up to $65 or $75 a month.

If a state wants to change its cheap service rules after getting approval from NTIA, it can. But it must do this before its second proposal gets the okay.

Feinman said that State broadband offices “can work with us to edit the plan,”

“It makes sense to do it now while there is still a back-and-forth.”

Some providers are not applying for BEAD funding because they find the reporting requirements tougher than those for other programs like the Capital Projects Fund.

Feinman suggested some ways to make it easier for providers.

“We have a very aggressive goal of reducing the amount of reports that [providers] have to do,” he said. “We will try to get guidance out as soon as possible.”

Feinman said providers should get help from experts who know how to write federal grants. They might share an expert with other providers.

Providers can use some of the BEAD funding to pay for this help.

Feinman said, “You don’t have to bring gobs and gobs” of matching funds; the state broadband offices can waive matching fund requirements when deployment costs are high.

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William Smith

William Smith is a dynamic editor at World-Wire, covering a wide range of topics including health, technology, travel, and events. Known for his ability to simplify complex subjects, he engages readers with his insightful FAQs and articles. His diverse expertise has earned him accolades, including the "Excellence in Diverse Journalism" award in 2022.

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