Navigating the BEAD program is a complex undertaking. The Center on Rural Innovation has developed this suite of resources to help ISPs and grant writers understand the program, efficiently prepare an application, and maximize their chances of success. 

These resources explain key sections of the BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). They include questions to help applicants prepare to apply, strategies for increasing the competitiveness of BEAD application, and examples of how different U.S. states and territories (known as Eligible Entities) are structuring their BEAD programs.

The resources are divided into three categories, as defined by the NOFO scoring requirements.

The examples in each section are based on draft initial proposals published by Eligible Entities. Although initial proposals may change based on feedback and approval from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), each section’s strategic advice and themes will remain relevant. Given the complexity of BEAD, these resources are not able to address every detail in the application process, nor should they be used as a substitute for reading materials provided by Eligible Entities.

Required materials for BEAD applications

These materials are not scored but will determine an applicant’s eligibility to apply for BEAD. In some cases, applicants will need to submit these materials as part of a prequalification round. 

Primary BEAD application criteria

Primary criteria make up 75% of grant points and are required by all Eligible Entities. 

Secondary BEAD application criteria

Secondary and additional criteria make up the other 25% of grant scoring. Some criteria, like speed to deployment, are a required secondary scoring category for all Eligible Entities. Some criteria are specific to non-priority broadband projects, like speed of network and other technical capabilities. States and territories have added additional criteria at their discretion.