The Texas Broadband Development Office (BDO) has released a Broadband Network Planning and Design Consulting Services request for proposals to augment local government and community capacity, connect all Texans to reliable, high-speed internet and prepare for forthcoming state and federal funds. The selected vendor will provide the following services to selected communities:
- Stakeholder identification and outreach.
- Asset mapping.
- Gap analysis/community needs identification.
- Public-private partnership identification and analysis.
- Workforce development strategy.
- Digital opportunities strategy/needs identification.
- Network design assessments (also known as "feasibility assessments").
Proposals are due by Sept. 29. The BDO anticipates the contract will be awarded and work will begin before the end of the year.
Updates on Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program
Authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the BEAD Program will fund projects that help expand high-speed internet access and use. It supports infrastructure deployment, mapping and adoption, including planning and capacity building in state offices. The program also supports outreach and coordination with local communities. It is designed to expand internet access to these priority areas:
- Unserved locations (speeds less than 25/3 megabits per second, or Mbps).
- Underserved locations (speeds at or greater than 25/3 Mbps but less than 100/20 Mbps).
- Community anchor institutions that lack access to gigabit-level broadband service.
On June 26, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced Texas' allocation totaling $3.3 billion in federal funding for the BEAD Program.
The BEAD Five-Year Action Plan was submitted to NTIA on Aug. 28 and is pending approval from NTIA.
The Local Government Broadband Roundtable meets virtually on the first Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. The roundtables are intended to inform local elected officials and their staffs and other community-based organizations that want to ensure their constituents have access to reliable, affordable internet. The next meeting will be on Oct. 5, and this Microsoft Teams meeting link can be used for every meeting.
For more information about this article, please contact Megan Molleur at (800) 456‑5974.