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The Lincy Institute

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The $45.45 billion Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program’s primary objective is to extend broadband service to all unserved and underserved locations in the U.S. and its territories. Several industry studies predict that the BEAD program can meet its goal of providing universal access to broadband service if eligible entities execute their grant programs well. My review of the BEAD program indicates that policy makers can enhance the likelihood of program success by designing competitive grant programs that give applicants the incentive to undercut the subsidies proposed by their rivals and provide applicants the flexibility to design networks that minimize the cost of delivering desired services. Eligible entities can encourage applicants to compete on the margins most important to them by providing clear statements about their objectives and detailed information about how reviewers will rank and score proposals. These steps will help reduce the cost of achieving desired outcomes and will free up resources for use in other programs, including broadband-adoption and digital-equity programs. Nevada is well positioned to take full advantage of the BEAD program. The Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology has worked diligently to close the state’s digital divide by working with community partners to define the state’s broadband priorities and by securing about $230 million in federal grants. These resources, coupled with the recently announced $416 million in BEAD funding and $37 million in proceeds from the Federal Communications Commission’s rural broadband auctions, puts Nevada in the position to provide its residents universal access to high-speed broadband services in the next five years.


Low-income; Low-Income programs; Households; Affordable; Connectivity; BEAD; Unserved; Underserverd; Fiber cable; Wireless; Internet; Digital divide; Infrastructure; Subsidies; Procurement


Computer Sciences | Economics | Infrastructure | Public Policy | Urban Studies and Planning

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