BEAD Funding Roundtable: Is Rural Broadband Expansion Set Up to Succeed?

January 9, 2024

In a timely and important episode about the deployment and execution of federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funding, several telecommunications experts weighed in on the program’s future. With 2023 coming to a close, this conversation about BEAD comes at the right time as it marks a year filled with substantial updates and progress in broadband infrastructure initiatives. The BEAD initiative, part of a broader effort to revitalize and expand broadband infrastructure in the U.S., has seen significant progress over the year. Now, with all states and territories having submitted their BEAD funding proposals, this episode delves into the critical phase of this transformative project. The stakes are high as this funding aims to reshape and improve America’s digital landscape.

This subsequently raises the question, how effectively are the BEAD funds being managed and allocated, and what are the broader implications for U.S. broadband infrastructure?

For a new episode of “Wavelengths,” an Amphenol Broadband Solutions podcast, host Daniel Litwin brought together an impressive panel for a major roundtable discussion on BEAD funding. He was joined by Zachary Raley, SVP and Advisor to the CEO of Amphenol, Ben Elkins, CEO of AireBeam, and Diana Goovaerts, Executive Editor at Fierce Telecom Group/Silverlinings. The episode made a deep dive into the state of BEAD funding, exploring its achievements, challenges, and future trajectory.

Several points tackled during the episode included:

  • An evaluation of the successes and obstacles encountered in implementing BEAD funding.
  • Assessing the strategic adequacy of proposals submitted by all 56 states and territories.
  • Insights into the expected long-term effects of BEAD funding on U.S. broadband expansion.

Zachary Raley is a seasoned advisor at Amphenol and its SVP. He has a unique perspective on equipment and hardware essential for broadband expansion. Ben Elkins is the CEO of AireBeam and provides an operator’s viewpoint and is an expert on the success of the BEAD program in Arizona. Diana Goovaerts offers an editorial lens, discussing the broader context and critical issues surrounding BEAD funding.

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