Pennsylvania Gets a Key BEAD Approval Releasing Over $1.1B to the State

Pennsylvania Gets a Key BEAD Approval, Releasing Over $1.1B to the State

On Tuesday, NTA announced its approval of the proposal for both the volumes of Pennsylvania’s BEAD initial proposal.

With this announcement, Pennsylvania can start accepting applications for over $1.1 billion as allowed under the BEAD program. However, it is one of the largest amounts given to any state, till now.

The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program has a total budget of $42.5 billion broadband service improvement.

So far, seven states and the District of Columbia have received full approval for their BEAD plans, with Louisiana being the first state to get approved.

The NTIA has been consistently announcing new approvals each week, and more announcements are expected to follow.

Brandon Carson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, stated that the state currently has 236,000 unserved areas with internet speeds below 25/3 Mbps and 52,000 underserved locations with speeds below 100/20 Mbps.

Brandon Carson said in a prepared statement, “NTIA approval of Volume II is an important milestone on our journey to close the digital divide in Pennsylvania.”

He said, “Now PBDA can take the next steps toward identifying the subgrantees who will construct the infrastructure necessary to connect unserved and underserved Pennsylvanians to affordable Internet service and the jobs, healthcare and educational opportunities it provides.”

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has also expressed her thanks for the approval.

Pennsylvania Get a Key BEAD Approval, Releasing Over $1.1B to the State
Pennsylvania Get a Key BEAD Approval Releasing Over $1.1B to the State

She said, “Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to investing in America, Pennsylvania can now request access to more than $1.1 billion to close the digital divide in their state.”

“I congratulate Governor Shapiro and his team at the State Broadband Office for creating a strong plan to ensure everyone in Pennsylvania has access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service,” she added.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson also expressed hi views by congratulating the Pennsylvania broadband office.

He said, “Today, Pennsylvania can move its Internet for All efforts from planning to action,” “I congratulate the Pennsylvania State Broadband office for developing a strong proposal for how they will connect all of the state’s residents to high-speed Internet service.”

Overview of BEAD program

The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program has a total funding of $42.5 billion in which authorizes the state to define its own project areas.

The states can use seven different methods to define project areas for improving internet access as

  • Geographic Boundaries
  • Census Blocks
  • Clusters
  • Hex9s
  • Sub-Project Areas (SPAs)
  • Self-Defined Areas
  • Other Custom Criteria

However, this system also presents the challenge of overlapping project areas. This means that two or more states can apply for the same area.

In such cases, the provider with the highest score in the first round gets the funding for the overlapping area.

The other provider can reapply for different areas in subsequent rounds. However, contiguous and non-contiguous bids can help to reduce the chances of overlaps, offering flexibility in project area definitions.

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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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