Are you an Internet Service Provider or local government applying for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program to acquire telecommunications equipment, Internet and Wi-Fi infrastructure, network equipment, software, or cybersecurity solutions? Between 2025 and 2028, states will award more than $42 billion of BEAD funding to Cisco customers and potential customers. Funding will be awarded to Internet Service Providers, local and Tribal governments, non-profits, and others for the benefit of residences, businesses, and community anchor institutions that lack access to gigabit-level broadband service.

What is the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Grant Program?

The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program provides $42.45 billion to support broadband deployment and adoption activities across all the states and territories. States and territories may use funds for the following.

  • Unserved service projects that address areas where 80% of locations in the proposal area lack access to reliable 25/3 Mbps service.
  • Underserved service projects that address areas where 80% of locations in the proposal area lack access to reliable 100/20 Mbps service.
  • Community anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries, and hospitals, serving vulnerable populations lacking access to 1 Gbps service.
  • Data collection and broadband mapping.
  • Installing internet and Wi-Fi infrastructure or providing reduced-cost broadband within a multifamily residential building.
  • Affordability, including for internet-capable devices.

When will the $42+ billion in BEAD funding be released to states and subgrantees?

Twenty percent of BEAD program funds will be released by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) to states and territories in 2024. Expenditures will commence in 2025 and continue for about 5 years.

During 2024 most states and territories are expected to receive an initial 20% of their BEAD allocation ranging from $20,000,000 for Delaware to over $600,000,000 for California. Dates vary because each state has a unique process and schedule for submitting the required 5-Year Action Plan and Initial/Final Proposals to the NTIA.

Release of the remaining 80% by the NTIA to states is based on completion milestones, approval of Final Proposals, and 5-Year Plan updates. Implementations shall be completed within four years of receipt of a subgrant.

When will Cisco’s customers have the authority to budget funds and issue purchase orders?

Despite the release of Initial Funds (20%) to states in 2024, approval for subgrantees to budget BEAD funds is contingent on Final Approvals by the NTIA sometime during 2025. BEAD allocations will flow first from the NTIA to states and after that from states to customers via one or more rounds of competitive awards. Customers must comply with federal, state, and their own budgeting and procurement processes to issue purchase orders.

What are the eligible uses of BEAD funding?

  • Construction, improvement, and/or acquisition of facilities and telecommunications equipment required to provide qualifying broadband service, including infrastructure for backhaul, middle-mile and last-mile networks, and multi-tenant buildings.
  • Deployment of internet and Wi-Fi infrastructure within an eligible multi-family residential building.
  • Engineering design, permitting, and work-related to environmental, historical and cultural reviews.
  • Personnel costs, including salaries and fringe benefits for staff and consultants providing services directly connected to the implementation of the BEAD program.
  • Network software upgrades, including, but not limited to, cybersecurity solutions.
  • Cybersecurity and training for cybersecurity professionals who will be working on BEAD-funded networks.

The Cisco Solution to Bridge the Digital Divide with Extended Wireless Connectivity design provides a complete last-mile solution. It brings together Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul radios, Cisco Industrial Ethernet (IE) switches, Cisco Meraki outdoor access points, and integrated security to extend any fiber or broadband network, such as one from a school to targeted areas or specific homes within the community. The result is reliable and secure internet access to and within your Community Anchor Institution.

Must applicants for BEAD funding attest to NIST Compliance?

The BEAD program mandates that states require network operators applying for funding to attest that they are abiding by the cybersecurity and supply chain risk management guidelines established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Is eligibility of every address for BEAD funding finalized?

No, currently there are disputes about which residences and businesses already have high-speed internet. Before BEAD grants can be subgranted, each state must first resolve disputes or challenges initiated by incumbent Internet Service Providers objecting to the availability of funding to competitors on the basis that the address is presently served or will be served.

Will the Cisco Public Funding Office be able to help navigate the intricacies of BEAD funding?


As each state, territory and the District of Columbia fund a mix of programs, some entirely focused on broadband infrastructure deployment, and others focused on affordability and adoption, we encourage you to be an active part of the outcome conversation.

Engage your Cisco Public Funding team today.


Learn more about broadband access and funding



Mitch Gorsen

Public Funding Advisor, Business Development Manager

US Public Sector Sales