ACLP Releases Latest BEAD Analysis - Maximizing BEAD’s Reach


Michael Santorelli, Alex Karras


February 28, 2024

The ACLP has released the latest in its series focused on Navigating the BEAD Weeds: “Maximizing BEAD’s Reach.” The analysis is available online here.

The BEAD Weeds series stems from the ACLP’s ongoing tracking and analysis of each state’s BEAD Initial Proposal. Each installment is meant to highlight positive and negative trends evident in these proposals and provide folks with materials for use in support of education and outreach at the federal and state levels.

The analysis highlights the myriad ways in which states are attempting to ensure that BEAD funds go as far as possible vis-à-vis closing their digital divides. Some states have sought to address this issue by establishing very large BEAD project areas (PAs) and requiring subgrantees to serve every unserved and underserved location in those PAs. In the view of these states, a major upside of this approach is its simplicity since it will not require much effort to deconflict overlapping proposals. In practice, however, large PAs might prove daunting and impractical for many prospective applicants, an issue that the ACLP tackled in its previous BEAD Weeds installment on PAs.

In response, several states have adopted novel approaches to stretching BEAD funds as far as they can go that involve smaller PAs. These approaches include:

The latest document examines an array of approaches as best practices that states and NTIA might embrace as Initial Proposals are finalized and BEAD programs begin to roll out.

Michael Santorelli is the Director of the ACLP. Alex Karras is a Senior Fellow at the ACLP.