Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program Initial Proposal Now Available for Public Comment
The N.C. Department of Information Technology’s (NCDIT’s) Division of Broadband and Digital Equity is developing the initial proposal for how it will use the more than $1.5 billion North Carolina will receive through the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.
The draft initial proposal, which is divided into two volumes, has been posted online and is available for public comment via email to NCDITpartnerfeedback@nc.gov until Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. After reviewing all comments received and refining the document, the division will submit the initial proposal by Dec. 27 to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for approval.
The initial proposal provides responses to the BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity requirements and comes after NTIA’s approval of the division’s five-year action plan in August. The proposal addresses the division’s plans for the competitive process it will use to select subgrantees for broadband and digital equity projects, ensure workforce development, continue stakeholder engagement, and engage historically underutilized businesses and underrepresented groups in BEAD deployment.
“This initial proposal is another important step in our efforts to ensure North Carolina receives the federal funding necessary to fully close the state’s digital divide,” said NCDIT Deputy Secretary for Broadband and Digital Equity Nate Denny. “We are moving forward as quickly as we can to put this funding to work and address a critical need for internet connectivity across North Carolina.”
Within a year of NTIA’s approval of the initial proposal, the division must submit a final proposal describing how it complied with the initial proposal and the results of its processes. The final proposal will also be made available for public comment prior to submission.
To learn more about the NCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital Equity and Governor Roy Cooper’s plan to close the digital divide in North Carolina, please visit ncbroadband.gov.