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06.28.2023 Legal News

$42.45 Billion in High-Speed Internet Grant Funding Announced

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced how $42.45 billion in high-speed internet grant funding will be allocated across all states and territories, including the District of Columbia. The funds, which constitute the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, will be used to “deploy or upgrade broadband networks to ensure that everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service. Once deployment goals are met, any remaining funding can be used to pursue eligible access-, adoption-, and equity-related uses.”

Under BEAD, each state and territory – known as “eligible entities” – will receive an allocation from the federal government of at least $100 million. The Commonwealth of Virginia has been allocated just over $1.48 billion and North Carolina has been allocated just over $1.53 billion, both amongst the highest allocations in the nation. South Carolina has been allocated just over $551.5 million. For a full list of allocations, please see the NTIA’s full announcement.

Beginning June 30, states and territories will have 180 days submit initial proposals for how they plan to run their grant programs. Once the NTIA approves an initial proposal, the state or territory may request up to 20% of their allocated funding.

In Virginia, BEAD is expected to look very similar to the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) albeit with a few key differences, especially pertaining to the challenge process and who can apply for funds. For example, BEAD allows internet service providers (ISPs) to directly apply for funds, though coordination with local governments is still encouraged.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which houses the state broadband office, is currently soliciting public comment on Virginia’s Initial Proposal for BEAD. Virginia’s Initial Proposal Volume I can be reviewed here. Comments should be submitted via email to and are due by 11:59 PM (EST) on July 6, 2023.