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Pennsylvania BEAD Update

Telephone pole reflected in brick water.

Now that the NTIA has approved Pennsylvania’s Volume I BEAD proposal, PA is officially entering the challenge portion of BEAD funding. This phase allows local government leaders and providers to give key insight and info into what areas are truly underserved and in need of funding. 

What do you need to know to participate in the challenge process? 

The PA will release the list of served and underserved communities on April 1, with the challenge process tentatively scheduled to run from April 1 to 30. The challenge portal should open on April 1, but until then local leaders can start gathering info on what the process will look like. 

You can check out PA’s Volume I proposal here, with the challenge process described on pages 9-14.

Essentially, all challenges must have some form of data to back up the claim. Pennsylvania is accepting speed test data to help verify underserved locations as well. Speed tests should show that areas receive services below 100 Mbps for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads. 

Some examples of other challenge types include:

  • Availability- The service listed on the map is not offered at the location. 

  • Speed- The service speed falls below the 100/20 Mbps threshold or the 25/3 Mbps threshold, meaning the area is underserved or unserved. 

  • Business Service Only- The only service offered is marketed or available for businesses only. 

  • Planned Service- There will be broadband deployed to the location by June 30, 2024. 

These are only a few of the challenge types mentioned within Volume I, and more details (like what specific examples to include with your challenge!) are outlined there as well. 

So how can you advocate for your area? 

Keep an eye on PA’s broadband website, Internet for All’s BEAD state progress status, and Internet for All’s challenge process dashboard. You can also start connecting with other leaders in your area. 

We’ve linked these resources and a few others below, and we’ll keep you updated as Pennsylvania BEAD funding progresses! 

PA Broadband: 

Internet for All BEAD Progress Status:

Internet for All Vol. I Challenge Process Dashboard: 

PA Volume I: 

Internet for All Info Sheet: 

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