2023 BEAD Success Summit: Government and Industry Prepare for $42 Billion Program
Wrapping up Highly Informative BEAD Success Summit, TIA Receives High Marks from Attendees
By David Stehlin, CEO, TIA
I had the great privilege of kicking off TIA’s first annual BEAD Success Summit, which was held in Arlington, Virginia April 19 and 20. Members of my team worked closely with TIA’s State Advisory Council to plan an informative event designed to bring together more than 250 key stakeholders in preparation for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA’s) deployment of the unprecedented $42 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Summit attendees included State Broadband Office officials, federal government leaders, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), ICT manufacturers, solutions providers, consultants, investors and more.
The BEAD Success Summit featured a comprehensive program that was filled with high profile speakers including Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, with whom I had the honor of opening the conference with in an engaging fireside chat. Senator Warner answered questions on a number of important topics including federal chips and technology investments and improving security for critical network infrastructure.
The audience also had the opportunity to hear from the administering agencies of the BEAD Program, the U.S. Department of Commerce and NTIA. The organizations graciously provided several expert speakers including Kevin Gallagher, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce who provided keynote remarks to open Day 2. Sarah Morris, Senior Advisor at the NTIA, provided an update on Broadband Maps. Nick Alexander, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG) presented opening remarks for a panel discussion on Extreme High Cost Per Location Threshold. Courtney Dozier, Deputy Director for the BEAD Program, joined a panel on Sharing Costs and Benefits of Building Broadband Networks. Russell Hanser, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce joined a panel on Building in Climate Resiliency, and Will Arbuckle, Policy Advisor, presented an update on Buy American requirements.
Additionally, I would like to thank leaders from various State Broadband Offices around the country who spoke at and attended the event, including representatives from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Virginia, Kentucky, North Dakota, Indiana, and more. The TIA State Advisory Council was instrumental in developing relevant topics and areas for discussion throughout the sessions including specific requirements from the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) as well as on various broadband technologies and architectures.
I was happy to see such a strong contingency of service providers, who will be instrumental in ensuring the success of the BEAD Program. Attendees ranged from rural and regional service providers to large tier-one carriers, manufacturers of fiber and wireless network equipment, grant consultants, contractors, and more who showed up to better understand the requirements of the BEAD Program and network with partners and customers.
High Praise from Attendees
On of things I was most proud of from this important event was the tremendous feedback we received from attendees throughout and following the Summit. Our post-summit survey sent to attendees yielded glowing remarks for the content, caliber of speakers, and flow of the event.
Here are some of the highlights from the survey:
- 100% of respondents felt the topics covered were relevant
- 97% of respondents reported they felt better prepared for the BEAD Program after attending
- 100% of respondents felt the speakers offered helpful insights for preparing for the BEAD Program
- 100% of respondents said the event was worth attending
- 80% of respondents said they would attend another BEAD Success Summit in 2024
We were also proud to host various members of the media at the summit including reporters from Politico, Wall Street Journal, Fierce Telecom, RCR Wireless, Broadband Breakfast Live, State Scoop and more.
Here is a snapshot of some of the media coverage discussing activities related to the BEAD Success Summit:
Fierce Telecom: TIA CEO: BEAD hinges on workforce and waivers
Broadband Breakfast: Future Broadband Waiver of Buy America Must Be Product-Specific, Says Commerce
StateScoop: Steps for states to boost broadband workforce outlined in new guidebook
StateScoop: For broadband, states urged to address network engineer shortages
Fierce: Will BEAD fund RDOF overbuilds? It’s complicated
Bloomberg Radio: Earnings, Mergers, Buy American, and Formula 1
Light Reading: The Divide Podcast by Nicole Ferraro with Guest David Stehlin
Wireless Estimator: TIA’s BEAD summit will thread the way for contractors and suppliers to take advantage of $42 billion in funding
Special Thanks to our Sponsors!
The BEAD Success Summit would not have been possible without the guidance of the TIA Board of Directors and the support from our event sponsors:
I could not be more pleased with our first BEAD Success Summit. The Summit accomplished its objective of helping the key stakeholders in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to better understand the issues, implications and opportunities that lie ahead. We look forward to continuing to support our members and being a trusted, technology-neutral voice in helping to ensure that the BEAD Program fulfills its mission of bridging the digital divide and bringing critical high-speed connectivity to unserved and underserved communities across the country.