Is Your State Ready for 10,000 BEAD applications?


Halfway through 2024, or as it's known in broadband circles, ‘the Year of BEAD’, states are forced to ask themselves a simple question: Are we really ready for thousands of applications in a matter of weeks? 

Broadband providers, small and large, have been warned against waiting for applications to open to prepare their applications for their share of the $42.5 billion BEAD program. 

“BEAD is unlike any other federal program for broadband that has ever existed,” Lori Adams, Nokia’s vice president of broadband policy and funding strategy said. “It’s the enormous costs for each component of the application and time-consuming activities required before the application is even submitted.” 

State broadband offices, meanwhile, are at various stages of their challenge process, such as practicing effective stakeholder engagementimplementing best practices for scoring and prioritizing data-driven calculations over politically-motivated adjudications

For states eager to win in BEAD, the next step must be equipping their offices for success in the BEAD showdown, or the moment when thousands of applications hit their desks. 

Here’s some of the tools that states must utilize to avoid being on the wrong side of the BEAD final showdown: 


It’s time to be data-driven 
As always, the first step for state broadband offices seeking a victory in the BEAD showdown is to be data-driven. State broadband offices will reap the rewards that come from broad participation, deep and meaningful partnerships and action based on precision rather than politics as usual. 

Directors must remember this as monopoly interests are incentivized to lie, steal, cheat and attack the credibility of each director’s process. Directors must be prepared to defend their office’s credibility from inevitable challenges. 

Broadband access for all is a math problem, not a political problem. States must ensure that their calculation process incorporates a math-based foundation for taking action if providers get off track and quickly rewards providers who meet established requirements. 

An applicant portal built to your state’s needs

State broadband offices must provide applicants with an easy-to-use portal that is custom built to their state’s needs. This ensures that providers of all sizes can effectively participate in the program while maximizing the efficiency of state broadband office staff during the scoring process. 

Ready’s custom-built portal provides an easy-to-use portal that provides an interface for both applicants to apply for funds and state broadband offices to score applications. This portal can also be customized to fulfill the needs and compliance requirements of all 50 U.S. states and territories and tribal lands. 


A portable digital profile 

State broadband offices should be sure to use a portable digital profile that maintains an ongoing record of providers and distributions of their networks and funding programs. This program should also provide a secure place for state broadband offices to communicate with providers about applications, guideline changes and other matters that are important to their BEAD journey. 

Ready’s Grantor Platform provides the ability for state broadband offices to perform all of these functions within a single, custom-built platform. 

Remember what’s at stake

State broadband offices know what’s at stake for families relying on them to bring affordable, reliable broadband. Broadband access closes not only the digital divide, but can close divides in education, healthcare and culture that brings all of us together. 

BEAD is the country’s largest and arguably last major investment in broadband. It’s an opportunity in which states nor providers can afford to be left behind. 

There’s no time to waste.

Get Ready to Grow.