On June 26, 2023, the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) announced how the $42.5 billion allocated for digital equity and broadband deployment under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program will be distributed among 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. California is the second highest recipient of funds, behind Texas, and will receive more than $1.8 billion ($1,864,136,508) for broadband deployment and digital equity advancement.

BEAD funding will be used to deploy or upgrade broadband networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet service. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used to pursue eligible access, adoption, and equity-related uses.

In order to receive the allocated funds, each state (district and territory) must develop and submit a broadband and digital equity plan to NTIA for review and acceptance. The California Public Utilities Commission and the California Department of Technology and are leading the development of California’s plans. It is anticipated that this source of funding will be available for distribution and deployment in California sometime in 2024. Read the press release from RCRC affiliate Golden State Connect Authority here.