BEAD: Build America, Buy America (BABA)

February 6, 2024

While the Build America, Buy America Act has some new requirements when it comes to material procurement and sourcing, this is not the first time we’ve navigated these rules. Here, Assistant Director of Engineering, Eric Rajchel, P.E., discusses how Vantage Point is here to help you on the road to BEAD funding.

Sourcing Requirements: A Familiar Terrain

The RUS program set the stage with its sourcing criteria from eligible countries many years ago. Drawing on our experience with RUS, Vantage Point recommends ensuring your business plan correctly adjusts for new BABA regulations, so your BEAD grant request amount is awarded accurately. You can do this by:

  • Implementing procurement standards.
  • Initiating thorough planning.

FAQ 1: Is the Build America Buy America Act going to be expensive?

In short, it’s too early to tell. While there’s speculation throughout the industry, the real cost impact will remain unknown until BEAD funding is awarded and material is purchased. However, to avoid a situation where your business plan no longer pencils out because you didn’t request enough grant funding, Vantage Point recommends you begin thorough planning now.

FAQ 2: What plans should I be making now?

Vendors and manufacturers are gearing up to meet anticipated demand. To stay ahead, we recommend having conversations with your equipment and material manufacturers early and often to get started on estimates. This is going to be one of the best ways to mitigate cost increases that could be coming with BABA. Even though final costs are unknown, material and equipment manufacturers may be able to glean some information for you on what to expect.

We also recommend putting together buildout plans for unserved and underserved locations. This information can be included in your CapEx estimates, financial feasibilities, and business plans to help determine your grant funding needs.

A recap of action you can take now:

  • Have conversations with equipment suppliers and material manufacturers early and often.
  • Start building cost increases in your CapEx estimates.
  • Ensure that your business plan accounts for potential cost increases.
  • Request enough funding to build out your unserved and underserved areas.

The Vantage Point team is here to help. We’ve successfully assisted clients procure over three billion dollars in loan and grant funding while navigating sourcing requirements; BABA is no different. Working successfully with you and material and equipment manufacturers, we can build CapEx estimates, financial feasibilities, and business plans to account for the types of increases that could be coming.

We’re here to help you – BEAD and beyond.

Learn more about Vantage Point and BEAD solutions.


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