The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program is a federal program which provides $42.45 billion nationwide, to expand high-speed broadband internet access. The program, funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA; P.L. 117-58) and managed by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA), aims to prioritize unserved or underserved locations in communities that have no internet access or limited access. States and territories were granted the funding to assist with planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs. The BEAD Program is the single largest federal broadband investment to date. The United States Virgin Islands was awarded an estimated $27.1 Million from the grant program to ensure broadband equality throughout the territory.
Under the guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the goal of the US Virgin Islands Broadband Office (VIBO) is to coordinate and support territory-wide efforts on broadband to increase the affordability, availability, adoption, and effectiveness of broadband internet. Through partnerships and collaborations, the VIBO will encourage investment in opportunities for broadband programs and initiatives that focus on improving the quality of life for the people of Virgin Islands. Based on its territorial strategic goals and objectives for broadband development, especially those that align with Governor Albert Bryan Jr.’s Vision 2040 Plan, the grant program is intended to close the digital divide. This will ensure every Virgin Islander can participate in online educational offerings, access telehealth care, thrive in the digital economy and so much more.
Each state and territory must submit an Initial Proposal to the NTIA describing how their BEAD-related grant program will be administered. Prior to doing so, we are required to make available each volume to you, the broadband stakeholder, to review with a critical eye and provide as much constructive feedback as possible. The final version will include public feedback and any new applicable data will be incorporated. The US Virgin Islands Broadband Office welcomes public comment for the following documents:
Public Comment Period (11/12/2023 – 12/12/2023)
This volume outlines existing broadband funding initiatives in the territory, identifies unserved and underserved locations per the FCC’s National Broadband Map, defines BEAD-eligible Community Anchor Institutions, and explains the BEAD Challenge Process.
Public Comment Period (11/16/2023 – 12/16/2023)
This volume outlines key objectives of the BEAD grant program, as well as funding deployment, stakeholder engagement, the subgrantee selection process, workforce standards and more.