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Planning and Navigating Your BEAD Projects for Success

Find out what you need to know to be prepared for BEAD, and 4 ways that technology can help set-up your BEAD infrastructure projects for success.

The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program is investing in critical broadband infrastructure by injecting a substantial $42.45 billion into markets spanning across the United States and other targeted territories. The BEAD program aims to expand high-speed internet access with the ambition of providing “Internet for All” by funding planning, infrastructure deployment, and internet adoption programs to support underserved areas. Beyond the financial figures, this infusion of funds holds immense value for communities, promising to bridge the digital divide, and ensure equitable access across areas that currently have limited or no broadband access.

What You Need to Know to Be Ready

As the anticipated BEAD funding is preparing for allocation and distribution, organizations planning on utilizing funding need to be well prepared for the strategic timeline ahead; and having a structured 5-year action plan is imperative. The initial wave of funding will take effect later in the year, with the first 20% of funding earmarked for priority projects. The short window from now until the initial funding delivery serves as a critical timeframe to align all aspects of your BEAD planning for successful deployment of your broadband infrastructure projects. 

With BEAD funding allocation and schedule requirements in mind, the call to action is clear – having a strategic plan in place for your projects now is critical to ensure you can manage your upcoming projects effectively. A strong plan not only establishes project goals and priorities, but also serves as a crucial needs assessment, offering insights early on into the potential deployment challenges that may be faced by asset owners and construction companies. Navigating these challenges requires addressing potential infrastructure deployment barriers, ranging from regulatory and permitting hurdles to funding expenditure oversight, and BEAD reporting compliance.  

Success hinges on calculated and effective planning that extends far into the future to support your initiatives over the next 5 years and beyond. At the end of the day, the most important priority for your business is to build and deliver your broadband deployment projects on time, and in line with government requirements so that funding for the project is not lost. Lacking a comprehensive strategy, and successful tools in place for managing your construction projects could potentially set you off course.

De-Risking Your BEAD Projects

How do you intend to manage your BEAD projects? Whether it's through construction management software or other methods, the choice is instrumental in executing effective broadband infrastructure projects. Having disjointed systems and siloed processes can undermine your success. The key to operational efficiency lies in leveraging the right technology and having the right resources in place. One of the most effective ways of de-risking your projects is to streamline your processes through an end-to-end construction management solution. 

Here are 4 ways technology can support your BEAD projects:

Streamlined permitting process: Using cloud-based tools to provide seamless transfer and review of data, enables partners and organizations with an effective workflow to manage a traditionally difficult permitting process. This provides high visibility into an often overlooked and disjointed set of processes.

Improved coordination on make-ready: Data intensive permitting requires sophisticated data-management tools. Reducing the cost and complexity of obtaining pole attachments. Increasing access to poles. Creating consistent policies and communication to drive access to broadband.

Improved GIS mapping: Preserve and improve mapping accuracy all the way through the build process by integrating GIS and digital mapping into your construction process. 

Stakeholder communications: Accurate and streamlined reporting and communication to all stakeholders from a single source of truth, keeping all parties informed with the most up-to-date information.

Implementing the right construction management platform serves as more than just a useful tool, it helps to aid in the governance and de-risking of your projects by simplifying the permitting process, automating tasks, and providing visibility into project timelines, costs, and data throughout the entire project lifecycle. This in turn can ease project challenges and roadblocks, mitigate risk, and drive operational efficiencies from project planning through reporting and project close out. 

Enabling Future-Proof Success to Build a Better Tomorrow

Being prepared with a comprehensive solution in place to manage your BEAD projects is important not only for effective project rollout, but also for the seamless management and delivery of your infrastructure initiatives. It's not just about adapting to the upcoming BEAD requirements; it's about planning your projects properly and thriving in a landscape that demands foresight, integration, and a strategic approach for success. 

Investing in a GIS-based end-to-end platform like Vitruvi can significantly simplify your BEAD project build-outs empowering you to maximize efficiency in broadband deployment – getting you from as-designed to as-built faster. Vitruvi’s purpose-built configurable platform provides network owners, operators, and builders the power to accelerate growth, while scaling with deployment, process, or technology needs as they evolve.


For more information on BEAD requirements, watch our BEAD webinar replay, available on-demand.

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