Digital Divide

The Divide: ACA's Matt Polka discusses unserved Americans' need for BEAD

In this episode, we hear from Matt Polka, CEO of ACA Connects, a trade association representing small and midsize independent service providers since 1993. We discuss broadband access in the service areas represented by ACA Connects, as well as a recent letter Polka sent to the NTIA's Alan Davidson regarding the final rules for the NTIA's $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (or BEAD) grant program.

Here are a few topics discussed in this episode:

  • Background on ACA Connects and its members (00:57)
  • On the FCC's forthcoming broadband map and the need for a challenge process (2:51)
  • Why BEAD needs to fund unserved areas first – and how to avoid leaving underserved areas behind (06:52)
  • How Polka defines "future proof" networks (10:08)
  • How ACA Connects members are preparing for federal funds (11:52)
  • Where ACA Connects is having an impact on closing the digital divide (14:44)

Related stories and links:

— Nicole Ferraro, site editor, Broadband World News; senior editor, global broadband coverage, Light Reading. Host of "The Divide" on the Light Reading Podcast.

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