BEAD Program: A Framework to Allocate Funding for Broadband Availability - Version 4.0

An ACA Connects-cartesian Study | January 17, 2024

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s $42.5B Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program holds out tremendous opportunity to close the broadband availability gap.  To assist States and Territories and ACA Connects Members in seizing that opportunity, ACA Connects has once again joined with the business consulting firm Cartesian – this time to develop a framework for how each State and Territory can spend BEAD funds on fixed broadband – principally fiber -- projects to connect their unserved and underserved locations.

As in prior versions, our BEAD Framework v.4.0 includes both a national analysis and an analysis for each State. It updates the estimate of the number of unserved and underserved locations by using the FCC’s mid-2023 Broadband Data Collection. It then applies Cartesian’s proprietary and detailed model to develop fixed broadband deployment scenarios using a combination of BEAD funding and matching funds from providers.

According to our estimates, when States and Territories begin to select broadband deployment projects, 6.4 million unserved and underserved locations will be eligible for BEAD program funding. We further estimate that the program should be able to provide robust broadband service to all these eligible locations. This includes by providing service over fiber infrastructure – the BEAD program’s preferred broadband technology – to at least 71 percent of eligible locations.

ACA Connects and Cartesian will stay involved to support your efforts and to update our analysis as new information becomes available. So, please contact us at any time. You can reach out to ACA Connects Chief Regulatory Counsel Brian Hurley at [email protected].

State/Territory Funding Framework

Submit your questions regarding the BEAD Program: A Framework to Allocate Funding for Broadband Availability study to [email protected].