Grant Funding

The NTIA is scheduled to release state funding allocations in the $42.5 billion BEAD program by the end of the month. The allocations will be based on the latest version of the FCC National Broadband Map released in late May.

Telecom cost analyst Mike Conlow crunched the numbers and came up with updated BEAD state allocation estimates based on the new map and following the formula detailed in the rules for the BEAD program. Funding is based, in large part, on the percentage of unserved locations in the state in relation to all unserved locations in the U.S.

Unserved locations are those lacking “reliable” service at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

Individual states are expected to receive anywhere between $108 million for Delaware and $3.5 billion for Texas, according to Conlow’s estimates, published on the website.

Approximately half of the states saw their funding estimate increase from Conlow’s previous estimates, based on the previous version of the FCC broadband map released in November. That version of the map was based on a location database released to service providers and state agencies in mid-2022, to which service providers added availability data as of June 30, 2022.

The newer version of the map is based on an updated location database released to service providers and state agencies in late December, to which service providers added availability data as of December 30, 2022.

Conlow notes that changes from the first version of the map are driven primarily by two causes. First, some states made successful challenges to the original data that removed some filings from providers and made the locations unserved. Second, fewer locations were claimed as served by the larger providers

Overall, provider filings show 3.35 million locations having coverage at 25/3 Mbps or better in the new map, Conlow noted. In the previous version it was 4.33 million locations.

“Overall, I think this is a positive thing,” he told Telecompetitor. “When providers file more accurate and realistic numbers, it paints a more realistic picture of what the service level is and gets the state funding for the rest.”

Conlow’s estimates follow. Telecompetitor sorted the list so that states are shown in descending order by the amount of funding they are expected to receive. Conlow’s more detailed analysis can be found at this link.

Source: Mike Conlow’s Substack/Telecompetitor

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