Leading broadband trade associations have banded together to offer a monthly educational webinar series supporting the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and State Broadband Offices with the implementation of the Broadband Equity Access and Development (BEAD) Program.
The $42.5 billion BEAD Program is being administered by the states under the guidance of the NTIA. States are responsible for awarding funding to network operators to cover some of the costs of deploying high-speed broadband to unserved areas. The states can tailor award guidelines as long as the guidelines conform to NTIA rules.
Groups included in the educational effort are ACA Connects, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), CTIA, the Fiber Broadband Association, INCOMPAS – the Internet and Competitive Networks Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, USTelecom – The Broadband Association, and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA).
The webinar series is designed to educate state broadband leaders, the NTIA, community leaders, and potential BEAD participants on the opportunities, challenges, and mitigation strategies related to the BEAD program and broadband deployment.
Starting on Sept. 14 at 1PM ET, the 30-minute webinars will be held at the same time the second Wednesday of each month through January 2023. Listed topics include:
- October 12 – Workforce Development
- November 9 – Affordability
- December 14 – Permitting/Rights of Way
- January 11 – Cyber Security
“Our primary goal is to make it as easy and efficient as possible to navigate through the BEAD program’s requirements and potential deployment challenges,” the associations said in a joint prepared statement. “These webinars are designed to help state broadband leaders, broadband providers, key stakeholders, and the BEAD program itself become highly successful. Congress, via the NTIA, has presented our industry with a monumental opportunity to close the digital equity gap for good. The leading industry associations have aligned to present this monthly webinar series and attendees will be able to leverage our united expertise and bring back proven broadband deployment tips and best practices to their own communities.”