BEAD: State Challenge Process

February 5, 2024

The time is now to start your BEAD State Challenge

Vantage Point’s Mikaela Burma, J.D., Manager of Regulatory and Legal, discusses the BEAD State Challenge Process. She highlights how locations play a role in the BEAD awards and the role you can play in promoting the accuracy of those locations.

It’s action time. Even if you’re not pursuing BEAD funding, contributing to the challenge process in your state promotes accuracy of eligible locations and best serves your community. 

What is the challenge process?  BEAD funds will be awarded based on the need for access in unserved (25/3 Mbps, highest priority) and underserved (100/20 Mbps) locations. These locations will be determined by maps. Maps that YOU have a chance at challenging. 

What maps are going to be used? States can take the most recent version of the BDC map, use it as a base starting point and adjust it as they see fit. 

What should you be doing right now? The first step is to review maps for those areas where you serve or have plans to serve in the future.  Consider the following: 

  • Is your state’s map accurate? 
  • Are areas surrounding you accurate?  
  • Which areas are unserved vs. underserved? 
  • Are locations showing a surge when they shouldn’t be? 
  • Are locations missing? 

You can challenge whether a particular location or Community Anchor Institution (CAI) is eligible for grant funds. You can also challenge whether a location is unserved vs. underserved.  

The time to act is NOW. 

  • Look up your state’s proposal status HERE: 
  • Find the Initial Proposal and the Challenge Process proposed by your state.  
  • Start becoming familiar with the maps and identify areas that you should review. Think offensively and defensively. 
  • Gather evidence to submit your challenges. 
  • Each individual state has their own process for this – it is not accessible in the BDC portal. 

What happens next?  For states still in the challenge process, there are three phases: 

  1. Challenges are submitted through individual state processes.  
  2. Providers respond to challenges in the rebuttal phase. 
  3. States make final determinations. (Note: NTIA has the power to overrule.) 

Preparation is key.

The multi-step funding application process can be intimidating, but you don’t have to go it alone. Vantage Point is here to help, with BEAD and beyond. Fill out the form below to start the conversation with our BEAD State Challenge experts. 

Learn more about Vantage Point and BEAD solutions.

Let’s start that conversation here.