Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Local Planning Grant Program
The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Local Planning Grant enables eligible entities to opt-in to receive formula funding to participate in broadband planning activities that will inform the state 5-year broadband action plan which will guide implementation of the BEAD program.
On February 7th, 2023 letters were sent out to County Executives, Administrators, and Administrative Coordinators asking for the submittal of a letter of intent by March 7th, 2023 at 1:30PM. Visions Northwest Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO) has been named in the letter as an eligible applicant for counties that want to work together on their local planning process. The letter of intent must declare whether the County or Tribe elects to:
Participate in the BEAD Local Planning Grant Program collaboratively with a Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO)
Participate in the BEAD Local Planning Grant Program collaboratively with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (Tribes only)
Participate in the BEAD Local Planning Grant Program independently
Not participate in the BEAD Local Planning Grant Program
Late on Tuesday, February 21st, the PSC released an Overview of BEAD Local Planning Grant Program DRAFT/PREDECISIONAL document that outlines the DRAFT term of agreement and key deliverables for eligible entities for the grant program.
On Wednesday, February 22nd, the NWRPC Executive Committee met which consisted of several of our member counties being present to learn more about this opportunity. As a result of the conversation, Visions Northwest has agreed to serve as the lead entity in a regional model for those that wish to participate. We understand and appreciate the many conversations that need to occur at the county level to make a decision to move forward as an individual county, or through a regional process. If the county works alone, the county will be the recipient of the funds and must execute their own contract with PSC. If a county works with the region (Visions Northwest), our organization would be the recipient of funds and would be responsible for completing the scope of work and developing deliverables as laid out in the contract with the PSC on behalf of those that are participating in the regional approach. Additionally, counties that do not wish to receive funds or complete this planning process have the option to NOT participate.
If you are a decision maker at the county/tribal level and wish to participate in the regional planning process, please let Crystal Rohde, Visions Northwest Administrator, know as soon as possible (no later than March 3rd, 2023) by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 715-635-2197.
Please see the recording of the webinar discussing this program from Monday, February 6th, below and visit the PSC Community Broadband Planning Resources and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Local Planning Grant Program pages for more information.
Public Service Commission BEAD Webinar 2-6-23
In this webinar, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program was discussed and an overview of state-wide broadband planning efforts and funding opportunities for local county and Tribal broadband planning was provided.
The presenter slides can be viewed online HERE.