This week: North Dakota's broadband program director, Brian Newby, joins the show to discuss closing the state's remaining digital divide, and how his office is working to build a 'pro-carrier' BEAD program.

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

March 4, 2024

At a Glance

  • What's gone into getting North Dakota's broadband office up and running over the last year (01:08)
  • How far BEAD might go in closing the state's remaining digital divide (05:30)
  • How the state is preparing for its BEAD challenge process and next steps in BEAD's rollout (09:35)

This episode features Brian Newby, broadband program director for the state of North Dakota. Newby joined the state's broadband office as it was in the process of being created in early 2023. Since then, his primary focus has been on developing the state's Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. North Dakota is to receive $130.16 million through BEAD and, as of this writing, the state is awaiting NTIA approvals on both volumes of its BEAD proposals.

In this conversation, we dive deeper into North Dakota's remaining connectivity gaps, as well as details about the state's BEAD plan and forthcoming challenge process, how the state hopes to build a broadband deployment program that's "pro-carrier," what BEAD success ultimately looks like for North Dakotans – and more. 

And if you happen to be a job-seeking, broadband-loving North Dakotan (or thereabouts, regionally), you can apply here to help with all of this as the state's broadband program manager.

Here are a few topics covered in this conversation:

  • Background on North Dakota's broadband office and its early work (01:08)

  • Ongoing hurdles to universal connectivity and how far BEAD might go in closing the state's remaining digital divide (05:30)

  • Where North Dakota has faced hurdles getting its BEAD proposals approved by NTIA (08:58)

  • How the state is, and isn't, using third-party data for its BEAD challenge process (11:11)

  • How North Dakota is addressing BEAD's low-cost service requirement without the Affordable Connectivity Program (16:19)

  • Next steps in North Dakota's BEAD rollout process (22:16)

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

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).

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like