The BEAD program requires that both Eligible Entities and applicants provide an assessment of climate-related disasters in their region, and develop mitigation strategies to increase infrastructure resilience. Some states build climate resilience measures into the scoring rubric, while others only require it as part of the application. 

Resilience measures look different depending on the region you decide to build in. After determining your project area, you’ll need to evaluate the specific climate challenges that the region faces based on various data sources. Characteristics of a resilient network include: 

  • Redundancy and route diversity: Establishing multiple routes for data in and out of hubs and along critical pathways.
  • Back-up power: Backup batteries and/or generators to power critical network equipment.
  • Protective measures: Additional processes and systems used to reduce the likelihood that a system will be affected by natural disasters, like burying critical or vulnerable fiber routes.
  • Restorative measures: The processes and systems used to reduce the time needed to return a system to full functionality. 

Questions to ask before you start your application:

What are your state’s specific climate mitigation requirements?

  • Louisiana, for example, requires applicants to estimate the cost of buried fiber and awards 30 additional points if the project buries 90% of new fiber. Check with your state rules to see where you need to focus priorities.

Does your proposed project cover areas identified as vulnerable or at-risk? 

  • States conducted an initial hazard screening that identified vulnerable communities in Volume 2 of Initial Proposals. If you have vulnerable locations in your project area, focus on describing the climate change related threats specific to your project and how you will address them.

Does your state have additional criteria for areas identified as vulnerable? 

  • Some states, like California, require proposed projects in vulnerable communities to deploy 72-hour backup power to be considered served and resilient 

How will resiliency measures increase project costs and how will you communicate the loss of cost efficiency to the state? 

  • You’ll need to balance the needs of efficiency criteria (BEAD outlay) with the needs of climate resilience

Strategies for success in this category

Explore federal data sets to predict what climate resiliency looks like in different project areas.

  • NTIA encourages applicants to utilize climate resources from NOAA and FEMA. CORI’s Broadband Climate Risk Mitigation Tool helps stakeholders assess climate risks on an interactive web based map based on FEMA data.

Create a robust narrative to explain your application if your resiliency measures are significantly increasing your cost to build.

  • Given that BEAD outlay (efficiency) is the most important category in a majority of state scoring structures, providing explicit reasoning as to why certain resiliency measures are prioritized over others will help your broadband office see the whole picture.

Describe if your deployment will support the resiliency of other systems, such as municipal and public safety networks.


Questions? Get in touch. 

If you have any additional questions or would like help with your BEAD application, please contact us.