Update from DEED on BEAD at MAPCED: Border to Border grants out soon – the FCC maps are important

Today I attended the MAPCED conference session on Internet For All & Office of Broadband Legislative Priorities with Bree Maki & Hannah Buckland, Office of Broadband Development, DEED. Here are some of the highlights:

  • $100 grant awards will be announced soon. And hope to announce the next round soon after with the low density awards.
  • DEED will do what they can to help the Broadband blog continue.

BEAD at DEED from Bree

  • Minnesota is ahead of the game for digital planning. Looking forward to the shift to working on use as well as infrastructure.
  • $100 million for infrastructure – including whatever the FCC maps indicates for need.
  • Working on a kickoff meeting for the end of January
  • More on FCC mapping –
    • Go on the map and challenge locations
    • Multiunit dwelling show as served if one household is served
    • DEED is doing review of maps
  • BEAD Plan is 5 year plan
    • Need to education state policymakers
    • We are getting a lot of money but Minnesota is a big state and a lot of work needs to happen
    • Line extension is open and 75/25 match as opposed to 50/50 in border to border grants
    • We still need to talk some people into understanding why broadband in important – it’s a great grandkid magnet

Digital Equity from Hannan

  • Digital Inclusion has 3 parts: broadband, device and skills to use it – as well as trust, safety and relevance
  • Funding
    • Planning of $60 million – MN gets almost $900,000. Once money is awarded MN gets a year to plan
    • Capacity $1.44 billion –
    • Competition grants $1.25 billion – administers by NTIA not OBD
  • Plan will include
    • Local inventories
    • Local community engagement
    • State digital equity goals

Questions:

What role can attended participate in the process?

  • Come to the January kick off.
  • There will be work groups and we’ll look for participation – such as workforce.
  • If you have a digital equity or broadband plan – please let us know

What’s up with the Test it app?
Available at NaCO website and apparently the FCC will pay attention to those results.

Should we ask policymakers to push back on FCC mapping deadline?
It’s worth starting the conversation. This is a tough time of year. But we don’t want to push for far that it holds back the money.

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