Rural and Urban Broadband Boost: Biden-Harris Administration Unveils Allocation of BEAD Program Funding 

Rural and Urban Broadband Boost: Biden-Harris Administration Unveils Allocation of BEAD Program Funding In a significant development for the future of American broadband, the Biden-Harris Administration has made public the state-by-state allocation for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. As a key part of their mission to expand reliable, affordable high-speed internet access, this plan allocates a colossal $42.45 billion in federal broadband funding to states, territories, and the District of Columbia.


The BEAD Program and Its Goals 

Created under the aegis of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the BEAD program seeks to bridge the digital divide by accelerating the deployment of high-speed internet infrastructure across the United States. By focusing on equity and access, the BEAD program strives to address disparities in digital connectivity in both urban and rural areas. 

Recognizing the critical role of the internet in daily life, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking concrete steps to ensure everyone, irrespective of their geographical location, has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. The BEAD program, a centerpiece of this digital equity initiative, is the largest single investment in broadband infrastructure in American history.  


Rural and Urban Broadband Boost: Biden-Harris Administration Unveils Allocation of BEAD Program Funding 

Unveiling the Allocation Plan 

In a joint announcement at the White House, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris provided an overview of the state-by-state allocation. The funds will be used to administer state-level grant programs that will underpin the infrastructure expansion necessary for high-speed internet access. State allocations range from $27 million to over $3.3 billion, and every state will receive a minimum of $107 million. The full list of allocations can be viewed at this link. 

“This announcement is a watershed moment for millions across America lacking access to a high-speed internet connection,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communication and Information Alan Davidson. Emphasizing the necessity of high-speed internet today, Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator, Mitch Landrieu, drew parallels between this initiative and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act, a transformative initiative that brought electricity to almost every American home. 


Implications of BEAD Funding Allocation 

By creating the BEAD program, the Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that high-speed internet is not a luxury but a necessity for Americans to participate equally in work, school, healthcare, and staying connected with family and friends. The allocated funds will serve to stimulate the economy by creating jobs and encouraging private sector investment in the deployment of broadband networks. 

Manufacturers have already announced expansions of their domestic manufacturing capacity, a move that is expected to create hundreds of well-paid jobs. These initiatives underscore the potential of BEAD program funding to catalyze positive economic ripple effects. 


Beyond the BEAD Program 

While the BEAD program is a vital element of the Biden-Harris administration’s digital equity strategy, it is not the only effort in play. Other initiatives include the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), the Digital Equity Act, and the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Together, these complementary initiatives aim to build out high-speed internet infrastructure, provide subsidies for eligible households, and enhance digital skills, respectively. 


Looking Ahead 

The unveiling of the state-by-state BEAD funding allocation marks a critical step in the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious drive to bring high-speed internet to every American by the end of the decade. The groundwork has been laid for a substantial boost to rural and urban broadband, setting the stage for digital transformation and economic growth. 

By dedicating unprecedented funding to bridge the digital divide, the Biden-Harris administration signals its commitment to ensuring all Americans, regardless of location or income level, can participate in our increasingly digital society. As President Biden and Vice President Harris continue their Investing in America tour, this announcement serves as a powerful reminder of their dedication to driving America’s digital future. 


Source: White House 


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Microwave Radios Extend Wide Area Network for Healthcare Provider


Aged care provider Life Care decided not to wait seven years for Australia’s National Broadband Network to reach the Adelaide suburbs. Instead, it commissioned an Aviat microwave radio high-capacity WAN. Photo credit: Douglas Barber [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Microwave radio is many things: It is an enabling technology in support of the mobile phone revolution and all its dependent social networks. It is a dedicated system that provides the skeleton and musculature (i.e. infrastructure) that allows police, firefighters and other first responders to react in a coordinated fashion to both routine and emergency public safety incidents. But it also serves in lower profile but nonetheless very important niche applications around the world. Take for example the experience of a regional healthcare provider in South Australia.

In a recent article in the national newspaper The Australian, the networking story of Life Care, the umbrella organization for a series of five aged care facilities and 12 retirement “villages” in and around Adelaide, Australia, was detailed. With the rollout of the National Broadband Network slowly progressing across Australia and not anticipated to reach the Adelaide suburbs for seven years, Life Care decided it could not wait so long to connect its locations via high-capacity telecoms. It chose to bid out a project for its own private Wide Area Network (WAN). Aviat Networks partner MIMP Connecting Solutions won the contract as the incumbent vendor. The clincher on the deal: the capability of Aviat radios to connect the farthest outlying facility, at some 50 kilometers, in Aldinga with high-bandwidth wireless. Furthermore, MIMP could offer a licensed spectrum solution, free from interference, whereas the competitors could not. And with a breakeven ROI of just two years, an Aviat-powered microwave WAN was a no-brainer—the others were four-years-plus to payback.

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Microwaves Could Solve Need for Long-Haul, Low-Latency Networks

Microwaves Could Solve Need for Long-Haul, Low-Latency Networks (via slashdot)

While high-speed optical fiber might be the way to go for large national research networks, point-to-point microwave connections have emerged as key links between financial exchanges.  The reason? Ultra-low latency. With widespread interest in sending the timeliest data possible, two separate microwave…

Microwave Backhaul for Public Safety LTE

US Navy 031026-M-4815H-029 Fire fighters from ...

(Photo credit: Chance W. Haworth via Wikipedia)

Public safety agencies will soon experience a dramatic improvement in communications capabilities enabled by advances in technology. New broadband multimedia applications will give first responders and commanders alike far better situational awareness, thereby improving both the effectiveness and safety of all personnel charged with protecting the public.

The specific technology, now mandated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for all new emergency communications networks, is Long Term Evolution, or LTE—a fourth-generation (4G) broadband solution. The FCC has also allocated licensed spectrum to ensure the best possible performance in these new networks. These FCC rulings support the goal of achieving an interoperable nationwide network for public safety agencies.

The FCC chose LTE based on its proven ability to support voice, video and data communications at remarkably high data rates that were previously only possible with wired links. Although there will be some differences in a nationwide public safety network involving capacity and coexistence with Land-Mobile Radio communications, lessons learned from LTE’s deployment in large-scale commercial mobile operator networks will help ensure agencies are able to achieve the FCC’s goal cost-effectively.

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