Where can you get BEAD matching funds? Telecompetitor has some ideas

Telecompetitor has some good ideas for folks who are trying to get ready for BEAD funding…

Program rules call for network operators seeking BEAD funding to use other funding sources to cover at least 25% of project costs, except in the highest cost areas. States have the option of setting the minimum even higher.

Where can networks get matching funds?

Here’s a very abridged version of their advice…

In-kind Contributions

According to BEAD program rules, in-kind contributions can include donations of property, goods or services that benefit the project. BEAD administrator NTIA advises applicants to be consistent with uniform administrative requirements for federal awards, but notes that examples might include volunteer services, equipment, supplies, rights of way access, pole attachments, conduits, and easements.

BEAD rules also allow operators to use funds from certain other government programs as matching funds.

Funds from four federal programs are allowed, noted Jorge Fuenzalida, managing partner at JLA Advisors, a consultancy focused on broadband strategy, technology and execution. The programs include the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also known as ARPA.

BEAD Matching Fund Sources

When in-kind contributions and government funding sources aren’t sufficient to meet matching fund requirements, network operators may need to turn to more traditional sources of funding such as loans or equity investors. The latter will seek to own a piece of the company.

Coleman noted another potential source of loan financing – Millennium Infrastructure Fund, a company that also distributes equipment to broadband providers. Fuenzalida cited family offices that invest the money of wealthy families as another potential funding source.

As for how to make contact with potential funding sources, Fuenzalida suggested attending industry conferences, which he has seen many potential investors attending.


This entry was posted in Funding and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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