The White House on Monday announced how the federal government will distribute over $40B in funding for high-speed broadband through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. The largest broadband focused stimulus program that has ever come to fruition, every U.S. state, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, has been allocated over $100M (territories received at least $25M) with 19 states receiving over $1B. The purpose of this ambitious program is first, to connect all unserved Americans and their anchor institutions (those receiving less than 25/3 Megabits per seconds (Mbps)) with fiber speeds (targeting 1 Gigabit per second or Gbps), and second, to upgrade those that are underserved (those receiving less than 100/20 Mbps). About 7% of the U.S. population (8 million homes) fall into these categories.
The BEAD Program, which is the largest of many broadband funding programs underway in the U.S. right now, has officially kicked off, with states knowing how much they’ve been allocated and under pressure over the coming months to submit their deployment plans (4 states have already submitted so this process is moving quickly). Preliminary indications are that a critical mass of winners may be receiving initial funds for buildouts by mid-2024.
Thus, it is time for U.S. service providers to start thinking strategically about BEAD funding opportunities in their respective states. Let’s examine a couple of areas that aspiring awardees should think about in planning for BEAD:
Texas-based DZS has been thinking strategically about BEAD since its inception, and it is the domestic vendor that is best aligned with the strategic needs of potential awardees. Our environmentally hardened and future-ready Velocity Last Mile and Saber Middle Mile solutions are not only fully aligned with BEAD Program requirements but architected for the long-term success of service provider deployments beyond the end of these stimulus programs. Furthermore, they are designed and built in U.S.-based manufacturing facilities today, leveraging a majority of domestically produced components, and thus already aligned with BABA requirements. DZS Cloud software products provide end-to-end service assurance, automation, orchestration, and experience management, not only capable of meeting BEAD reporting requirements but preparing service providers for the realities of remote monitoring and management for rural areas.
BEAD offers an unprecedented opportunity for U.S. service providers to not only better serve their communities and regions, but position themselves for growth and long-term business success. DZS is primed to be your enabling partner for this program. Keep your eyes open for the upcoming DZS announcement that will put you on the fast track to BEAD success, including a Middle Mile webinar focused on how to best bridge the “digital divide”. To learn more and to register for the event, click here.
In the meantime, contact us to learn more about how DZS can help you achieve both BEAD success as well as gain a long-term, sustainable Competitive EDGE. More information can be found at www.DZSI.com.