The Divide: Grading state BEAD plans with ITIF's Jessica Dine

This week: Jessica Dine, ITIF policy analyst, on her report evaluating and grading state proposals for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, and how she determined if each state is set to succeed with BEAD.

Nicole Ferraro, Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast

May 28, 2024

At a Glance

  • Which criteria ITIF used to evaluate state BEAD plans and why (06:09)
  • What led certain states to score an 'A' grade for their BEAD plans (18:45)
  • Why some states scored a 'C' (ITIF's lowest grade) for their BEAD plans and how plans can be improved (24:55)

This episode features Jessica Dine, a policy analyst covering broadband policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, or ITIF.

She recently authored an ITIF report evaluating individual state proposals for the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) grant program. The NTIA is in the process of approving state BEAD proposals, comprising two volumes. As of this writing, eight states (including Washington, DC) have had both volumes of their BEAD proposals approved, according to an NTIA dashboard.

In this podcast, we discuss the criteria Dine and ITIF used to evaluate state BEAD proposals, why some states scored higher than others, how states can improve their BEAD proposals and more.

To read the report, click here. For a state-by-state interactive data visualization, click here.

Here are a few topics we cover:

  • Background on ITIF (01:09)

  • What ITIF set out to learn through researching state BEAD plans (02:20)

  • Which criteria ITIF used to evaluate state BEAD plans and why (06:09)

  • What led certain states to score an "A" grade for their BEAD plans (18:45)

  • How states may (or may not) be able to address BEAD's low-income requirement without the Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP (23:00)

  • Why some states scored a "C" (ITIF's lowest grade) for their BEAD plans and how plans can be improved (24:55)

For a lightly edited conversation transcript, click the caption button on the podcast player.

Read more about:

The Divide

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast, Light Reading

Nicole covers broadband, policy and the digital divide. She hosts The Divide on the Light Reading Podcast and tracks broadband builds in The Buildout column. Some* call her the Broadband Broad (*nobody).

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