TIA Supports “Internet for All” Goals with BEAD Success Summit
There is an immense opportunity at hand to connect millions of American homes that today, remain underserved when it comes to reliable high-speed broadband. In an effort to address this issue and reduce the gap of those underserved, TIA—the trusted industry association for the connected world—will host the BEAD Success Summit on April 19 and 20, 2023, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. This two-day event will bring together industry, state, and federal government leaders to discuss key issues in preparation for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NTIA-led $42 Billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. Registration is open at www.BEADSuccessSummit.com.
Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the BEAD Program aims to get all Americans online by funding partnerships between states, service providers and their suppliers to expand infrastructure and deliver high-speed internet across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Through TIA’s Bead Success Summit, participants will learn about meeting the specific BEAD Program requirements to be eligible for funding, the latest broadband network technologies, and meet various industry and government program stakeholders.
The Summit Offers Something for Everyone:
Stakeholders from across the country will convene at this comprehensive 2-day event that will include leading government and industry speakers, workshops, and breakout sessions. In addition, there will be an Exhibit Hall showcasing the latest in broadband network architectures, services, and solutions for states/territories, federal agencies and industry partners.
Multiple workshops focusing on the BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will be held on both days of the Summit, covering specific requirement areas including Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM); Climate Resilience; Extreme High-Cost Per Location Threshold; Ongoing Monitoring, Reporting and Performance Management; and Cost Sharing and Matching. This list of topics was identified by an Advisory Council of 10 State Broadband offices working with TIA. Representatives from Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia provided guidance on the summit’s agenda topics, ensuring that key issues are discussed.
State Broadband Offices will have the opportunity to attend workshops and breakout sessions on critical topics including the first ever cybersecurity and supply chain risk management requirements to be applied to a government grant program. Additionally, several Federal agencies will be speaking and in attendance over the two days giving state broadband leaders a chance to interact, ask questions, share lessons learned, and collaborate at a critical time before the Program rolls out.
“This event will be impactful for the success of the BEAD Program’s goal of closing the digital divide,” said Earnie Holtrey, Deputy Director of the Indiana State Broadband Office. “Collaborating with other broadband offices from around the country to help the States and Territories prepare for this program is extremely helpful to the planning process.”
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will gain a better understanding of the program requirements which will be beneficial as they plan and prepare to apply for project funding opportunities. This is especially important for small to mid-size service providers who are viewed as critical to the program’s success because geographically, many are already serving rural areas but lack the necessary capital for expanding infrastructure to reach underserved communities.
Suppliers and Manufacturers of information and communications technology (ICT) and network components will also gain clarity on program requirements that will impact them as the vendor community for the ISPs. With the first ever supply chain risk management requirements to be applied to government grant funding, suppliers will need to be prepared for the needs of the ISPs in meeting the eligibility requirements.
What to Expect
On Day 1 (April 19), Kevin Gallagher, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce—the principal agency responsible for administering the historic level of funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—will serve as the keynote speaker. Gallagher, an integral leader for the BEAD Program, will share important insights from the head agency overseeing the program. TIA CEO, David Stehlin said, “Mr. Gallagher has long been a key voice in developing and executing the BEAD program at the highest levels of the Department of Commerce and we are pleased to have him join other federal, local and industry thought leaders to speak at the BEAD Success Summit.”
On Day 2 (April 20), United States Senator Mark Warner will join TIA CEO David Stehlin on stage for a special “fireside chat” session that will cover important topics like cybersecurity. In the announcement, Stehlin said, “Senator Warner has a deep history in the telecom industry and the combination of his time as Governor of Virginia and now as Senator, gives him the unique and very important understanding of the impact tech policies, such as the CHIPS and Science Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, can have on both a local and national level.”
Breakout sessions will be held during the afternoons of the summit with discussions highlighting various network architectures and alternatives. This includes Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), with an overview of the benefits and tradeoffs for each network type. Additional sessions will cover Broadband Mapping, Buy American, and Workforce Development.
An additional benefit to the summit is the Exhibit Hall, where attendees can learn more from industry leading service providers, suppliers, solutions providers, and consultants. Exhibitors currently signed up include Adtran, Avion Networks, Calix, CommScope, Corning, DZS, Ericsson, Irby, Nokia, Sabre Industries, Vantage Point and Wirewerx.
Time to Collaborate
The BEAD Success Summit offers an environment for collaboration with colleagues and education on leading technologies that will help maximize the success of this significant investment to close the access gap for unserved areas. For the program to be successful, there must be a strong commitment to the public-private partnership as neither side can solve this issue alone.
“Bringing together all parties to prepare for this once in a lifetime initiative is vital,” according to Glen Howie, Arkansas State Broadband Director. Thomas Tyler, Deputy Director, State of Louisiana, said, “Our team understands the benefits of including local stakeholders, federal partners and industry professionals as part of our approach to meeting the broadband needs of all Americans.”
To learn more about TIA’s BEAD Success Summit and to register to attend, or inquire about sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities, visit: www.BEADSuccessSummit.com. Discounted rates are available for TIA members, government leaders, and partners of TIA.
Please send any questions you may have to BEADSuccessSummit@TIAonline.org.