Unpacking Approved BEAD Volume 2s: New Hampshire


Michael Santorelli


June 13, 2024

NTIA recently approved New Hampshire’s BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 2 (V2). The ACLP has compared the final version with the version that the state released for public comment last fall (the state did not make its submitted version available). A redlined version is available here. The following identifies changes made to the state’s V2 ahead of NTIA’s approval:

Subgrantee Selection Process

Scoring – Minimum BEAD Outlay

The state has changed how it will assign points (up to a max of 45) in this category. The lowest proposed BEAD outlay will receive 30pts; second lowest will receive 20pts. Additional points will be available for commitments to resiliency [up to 10pts for applications that describe how the network will mitigate the impacts of flooding, high winds, and severe winter weather] and reliability [up to 5pts for describing how latency and speed will be maintained and how service will be restored after an outage].

Scoring – Affordability

The state maintains its primary approach of scoring applications relative to the most affordable price proposed by applicants in the area, with the most affordable proposal receiving max points and others receiving fewer points. However, the state has removed the discretionary awarding of points for commitments to providing a low-cost option to all eligible customers in a project area and middle-class affordability. As a result, the awarding of points for affordability hinges solely on the proposed cost of the service.

Scoring – Fair Labor Standards

The state provides significantly more information about how it will award the 10 available points in this category. For established ISPs, 10 points will be awarded upon a showing of compliance with relevant labor laws for at least 10 years; the number of points awarded decreases as the number of years in compliance decreases. For new entrants, they will be able to receive all 10pts if they provide sufficiently detailed forward-looking plans for complying with relevant laws and offering information on wage scales and workplace safety committees.

Scoring – Secondary Criteria

The state changed many aspects of these categories:

  • Speed to Deployment will receive up to 7pts (rather than 5), with max points going to projects completed in less than a year.
  • Workforce Development remains at 5pts but the V2 now includes additional information about the required narrative that must be included in applications.
  • The state has added a new category – Cost Per Passing – and removed two others (Speed of Network; Use of Other Federal Funds). Up to 8pts are available for Cost Per Passing.

Low-Cost Option

The state has adjusted this option. It will now allow for plans in the $30-$50/month range. Those seeking to offer the option above $30/month must document why the change is necessary (e.g., offering the option at $30/month makes a project financially unsustainable). The state’s V2 does not address how it will handle the low-cost option post-ACP. Instead, the V2 states that NH will “engage with NTIA, providers, and other stakeholders to seek clarification and develop successor programs or other alternatives so that a sustainable low-cost service option may be retained.”