Earlier this week, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and the Fiber Broadband Association jointly released an updated Broadband Infrastructure Playbook. The Playbook offers guidance to help states as they establish policies and procedures to manage the $42.5 billion dollars for broadband infrastructure that will flow to them through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. States will craft rules under which providers may apply for broadband deployment funding, based on parameters set by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
In a press release, the two associations (both of which include NRTC as a member) noted they had issued an earlier version of the Playbook in March. The updated Playbook provides more detailed information found in the NTIA’s BEAD program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which was released in May. The NOFO lays the foundations for the BEAD program, positioning state broadband offices as the focal point for historic levels of broadband funding opportunities.
The updated Playbook looks at what states must do under the BEAD rules, as well as those areas where they have substantial flexibility. Based on the NOFO, as well as past experience and real-world success stories, the Playbook offers suggestions for approaches and factors that states may wish to consider as they ramp up their BEAD funded programs.
As NRTC members and their state-wide organizations engage with their state governments regarding broadband funding, the Playbook could serve as a useful resource.