Broadband Infrastructure Planning: 2022, 2023


Introduction

2022 has witnessed an explosion of federal funding focused on the need for high quality broadband connectivity.

The $1.2 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), signed into law on November 15th, 2021, authorized $65 billion in broadband funding.  The largest component is the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Development Program (BEAD),  with $42.45 billion in funds focused on infrastructure deployment.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP, $14.2 billion), also under the IIJA, provides ongoing monthly support for qualifying households, ensuring that affordability does not limit broadband adoption by those most in need.

Finally, the Capital Projects Fund (CPJ) of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides $10 billion in state-level funding that can be applied to broadband.

Toolkit

Key Questions

Every state or territory broadband office, investor, internet service provider (ISP), grant-writer, and not-for-profit focused on broadband is asking the following questions:

  • How can one objectively determine the most needy geographic areas for infrastructure investment?
  • What robust data sources exist to support such decisions?
  • What factors limit the eligibility of specific geographic areas for federal funding under BEAD and other programs?
  • What third party data sources exist to measure available broadband speeds?  How can those data sources be integrated into a comprehensive decision-making view?
  • What would it cost to construct a network in a particular underserved area?  What would the business case look like with and without BEAD funding?

Fiber

Resources

BroadbandToolkit.com is a one-stop shop for powerful analytics that answer many of these questions.  These include:

  • The Broadband Essentials BEAD Infrastructure Toolkit and its associated add-on modules.  
    • An unparalleled set of decision-making resources.
    • Fully functional in minutes (no coding / cloud platform configuration required).
    • Ability to visualize data and to draw profound conclusions.
    • Ability to integrate your data (planned coverage areas, etc.)
    • Geospatial data is available for the entire United States in Excel spreadsheets or data can be extracted by selecting a precise area of interest with a mouse using the Visual Toolkit.
    • Ability to add geospatial data to your business plan.

  • Whitepapers that ask important questions such as "How can third party performance data be analyzed (see State of the State:  broadband mapping initiatives at the state level) or understanding the concept of "Locations" in recent reverse auctions (see Locations: running the numbers and performing due diligence).

  • Analytical approaches, as described in the very detailed toolkit documentation.  How does one juxtapose layers of data - homes passed, high resolution demographics, quality of coverage (qualified/full covered, underserved, unserved), measured performance (download Mbps, upload Mbps, and latency), service area footprints, competitors, and technologies - into a set of decision-oriented views?

  • Grant Applications / Grant Writing / Feasibility Studies.  The substance behind any grant application or feasibility study is a data-driven "story".  A brilliant writer without an equally brilliant data analysis / visualization platform is going to struggle.  We are happy to discuss several best-in-class tools.  

  • Human Help.  Need help understanding the issues or evaluating a potential approach?  We are happy to do a Zoom call to discuss your needs and your most challenging questions.  Call us (415-346-5393) or e-mail us if you would like to talk or Zoom.

  • Consulting Services.  Struggling to hire the right in-house talent?  Have a project with a lot of complexity or with quick turn-around times?  Interesting in leveraging existing skills and expertise?  If so, we're here to help.

  • Precision Advertising.  Trying to reach a small community with an important advertising message?  We have a suite of capabilities that allow the user to:
    • Deliver printed material to a precise geographic area (a few hundred homes) or to an entire county or state, starting only with a PDF.
    • Deliver printed advertising, including the printing, at a tiny fraction of the cost of first class mail.
    • Deliver to all of the addresses in a geographic area, even if the sender doesn't know the names or address of those in the area.
    • Deliver to rural postal addresses, to PO boxes (if desired), to businesses (if desired) and to other hard to reach demographics.
    • Deliver to your ISP footprint.
    • Deliver advertising in the dominant language (Spanish, Chinese, Cajun, or a native American language) of a neighborhood.
    • Use advanced analytics to disproportionately target those households that qualify (based on very specific federal requirements) for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) or Lifeline subsidies.  Consider this example.  
    • The world is your oyster.  Let us know how we can help.