The NTIA reports…
NTIA is preparing to enter a crucial phase for the Internet for All initiative. Soon, we will notify states and territories of their BEAD program allocation amounts. Once we’ve made those notifications, states and territories will have 180 days to submit their initial proposals. We are confident we will have the data we need to take that step when we make our allocation announcement by June 30.
It sounds like they are not expecting big changes…
To understand the impact of the challenge process and additional work that the FCC and its vendor CostQuest have been doing to improve the map, we can analyze the change in broadband serviceable locations between version 1 and version 2 of the Fabric. As the FCC notes, the number of serviceable locations between version 1 and version 2 increased from 113 million locations to about 114 million locations, which accounts for a less than 1% net increase in the total number of broadband serviceable locations across the country. Note that, as the FCC’s blog further clarifies, this net change reflected both additions and subtractions from the fabric—the FCC added nearly three million locations while removing nearly two million for reasons ranging from updated data to the use of more sophisticated tools to identify and remove structures like garages and sheds.
This tells us three things:
- The changes between version 1 and version 2 of the Fabric were relatively modest, and we can expect that changes between future versions of the FCC map will likely continue to be modest.
- These modest changes go both ways. States, territories, and the District of Columbia (“Eligible Entities”) could gain or lose locations from version to version.
- If the changes to the total number of BSLs is modest—and at less than 1% they were—then it is likely that the impact on the allocation is modest, because the key variable in the BEAD allocation formula is the number of unserved locations in a state or territory relative to the total number of unserved locations nationwide.