BEAD and DEA Programs
Governor Youngkin has designated the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as lead on the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, as well as the Digital Equity Act (DEA) programs under the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA). DHCD has submitted an application for planning funds under the DEA Planning Grant program and will soon submit a request for planning funds under the BEAD program. More information will be available and input from local governments will be required as the stakeholder engagement processes for these two programs get underway in the coming months.
Broadband Availability Map
DHCD has made improvements to the Broadband Availability Map. You can now see VATI award areas for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. By selecting a VATI project area, you will be able to see information on the applicant, co-applicant, and funding amount.
Upcoming Broadband Advisory Council Meeting – September 30
The Broadband Advisory Council will be meeting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, September 30 at the Hanover County Administration Building (Virtual Option Available). Meeting topics will include the Department of Housing and Community Development’s findings and recommendations in regard to the study of providing broadband services to new development, established by House Bill 445 and Senate Bill 446, passed during the 2022 General Assembly Session. The meeting will also feature updates from the Office of Broadband, including the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Project Dashboard, as well as Virginia’s activities under the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act’s broadband programs, including the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program and the Digital Equity Act. More information about this meeting is available on the Commonwealth Calendar.
Broadband Stakeholder Advisory Group
As per the 2022 General Assembly Session, House Bill 445 and Senate Bill 446 direct DHCD to convene a stakeholder advisory group for the purpose of evaluating local and state policies, procedures, or ordinances to facilitate the expansion of high-speed broadband service and associated infrastructure in new residential and commercial development. The stakeholder advisory group has met twice to form and provide feedback on recommendations. DHCD is in the process of drafting the final report for consideration by the stakeholder advisory group at their upcoming meeting. As outlined in the legislation, final recommendations will be presented to the Broadband Advisory Council.
The Line Extension Customer Assistance Program (LECAP) is up and running! Thus far, Breezeline, Brightspeed, Citizens Telephone Cooperative, Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority, Pembroke Telephone Cooperative, Virginia Technology Services, RiverStreet Networks, and Cox Communications have completed the Request for Interested and have been approved to participate in the program. DHCD is looking forward to seeing their list of ISP partners continue to grow. Additionally, DHCD will be sending out a LECAP Digital Literacy Survey with the intent to bring digital literacy and other online training/certifications to LECAP applicants. For more information about LECAP, please visit the official LECAP website.
Important Dates to Note
- August 25 – VATI Applications Due
- September 1 – DHCD Posts Applications on VATI Website
- October 6 – Challenges Due
- October 13 – DHCD Notifies Challenged Applicants
- November 3 – Deadline for Challenge Rebuttals
- December 8 – DHCD Notifies All Parties of Challenge Determination
- Late December – Anticipated Announcement of Award
VACo encourages members to reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding VATI or other Broadband related issues.
VACo Contacts: Jeremy R. Bennett and Joe Lerch, AICP