The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program is being implemented in California by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Nationally, BEAD provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. California will be allocated a specific amount under BEAD.

The Governor designated the CPUC to serve as the recipient of and administering agent for the BEAD program for California, and designated the California Department of Technology (CDT) to serve as the recipient of and administering agent for the Digital Equity Plan.

Here is how the BEAD and Digital Equity Programs are linked.

BEAD Timeline

BEAD Rulemaking Now Open

The link to the BEAD Rulemaking (R.23-02-016) is here

On February 23, 2023, the CPUC voted to open the official rulemaking which will establish the state rules for the California BEAD Program. 

While BEAD is a federal funding program authorized by the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA), signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021, in California the CPUC is required to gather public input in an open public proceeding to determine specifically how the BEAD funds will be offered to qualified “subgrantees.” The federal rules for BEAD give overall rules for the Program, while the CPUC will set-up the schedule for the competitive process of selecting subgrantees, and specific requirements those subgrantees must follow, to build robust, high-quality, broadband networks. These new networks will be built in federally defined eligible areas that are “unserved” and “underserved” communities across the state. BEAD-funded subgrantees may also build to “Community Anchor Institutions” like schools and libraries, provided they also currently meet “unserved” eligibility standards. 

Within the BEAD federal rules, the CPUC will establish subgrantee rules, as mandated by the BEAD Program itself for required elements like workforce development and federal fair wages for those building the infrastructure. State defined affordability standards for the completed new broadband systems, and audit and risk assessment standards to protect against waste, fraud, and abuse as the networks are deployed are also required to be developed by the states under BEAD rules. 

CPUC Commissioners and staff look forward to hearing from you, as we move through this important proceeding. 

Make Your Voice Heard!

BEAD Rulemaking Public Comment

You can make your voice heard in the BEAD proceeding, and read the comments of others, on our online Docket Card comment section at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/R2302016.

Broadband for All, Digital Equity, and BEAD Planning Regional-Local Workshops

The CPUC and CDT are partnering with local-regional organizations and other state entities to host 20 Broadband for All, Digital Equity, and BEAD Planning Regional-Local Workshops throughout the state. At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about planning for these programs, provide feedback on how to make them effective for closing the digital divide, and connect with others who are passionate about digital equity in California. For more information, see the Broadband For All Factsheet in English and Spanish

Check-out when in-person events are happening in your region, and register here as events are confirmed. (See our flyer here.)

When Community  Location More Information
April 14, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Merced College (Library)
3600 M Street, Merced, CA 95348

Click Here
April 15, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Fresno Fresno City College (Old Administration Building - Cafeteria)
1101 E University Avenue, Fresno, CA 93741
Click Here
Apri 21, 2023
Noon - 4:30 p.m.
San Diego San Diego Central Library
330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Click Here
Apri 27, 2023
Noon - 5:30 p.m.
Chico Chico Masonic Family Center
1110 W East Avenue, Chico, CA 95926
Click Here
Apri 28, 2023
10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Santa Rosa Santa Rosa Veterans Building
1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Click Here
May 3, 2023
11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Eureka Jefferson Community Center
1000 B St., Eureka, CA  95501
Click Here
May 5, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
San Jose Santa Clara County Office of Education, Ridder Park Site
1290 Ridder Park Dr, San Jose, CA 95131
Click Here
May 11, 2023
8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sacramento Sacramento Central Library
828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Click Here
May 12, 2023
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Grass Valley Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building
255 S Auburn St, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Click Here
May 16, 2023
12:30 - 6 p.m.
San Bernardino CSU San Bernardino
5500 University Pkwy, San Bernardino, CA 92407
Click Here
May 19, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Los Angeles LA Trade Tech Campus
400 W Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Click Here
May 20, 2023
9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Long Beach Veterans Park Social Hall
101 East 28th Street, Long Beach, CA 90806
Click Here
May 24, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Santa Ana Orange County Administration South Building
601 North Ross Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Click Here
May 30, 2023
Noon - 5 p.m.
Tuolumne Tuolumne County Resiliency Center
18241 Bay Avenue, Tuolumne, CA 95379
Click Here
June 1, 2023
11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Santa Maria Hancock College
800 S College Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454
Click Here
June 2, 2023
9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Seaside CSU Monterey Bay, Student Center
4314 6th Avenue, Seaside, CA 93955
Click Here

June 8, 2023
Noon - 4:30 p.m.

Oakland Oakstop - The Broadway Event Hall 
2323 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612
Click Here


For additional workshops in your area, visit BroadbandforAll.cdt.ca.gov/events.


  • April 25, 2023: The NTIA released a BEAD Challenge Process Policy Notice providing additional guidance for designing and conducting a BEAD challenge process in compliance with the BEAD Notice Of Funding Opportunity. The NTIA also provided a model challenge process, which can be viewed here.
    • Any members of the public interested in providing comments to NTIA should email BEAD@NTIA.gov by midnight EDT on May 5, 2023 with your comments on the challenge process. 
  • April 17, 2023 – Opening Comments on Order Instituting Rulemaking submitted by parties.
  • April 14 and 15, 2023 – First of 20 Broadband for All, Digital Equity, and BEAD Planning Regional-Local Workshops conducted in Merced and Fresno.
    • Video highlights from these first workshops available at the following links for Merced and Fresno.
  • March 15, 2023: Final Fabric challenges prior to determination of California’s allocation submitted to the FCC.
  • February 23, 2023 – The CPUC approved an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) to develop rules determining grant funding, eligibility, and compliance for BEAD funds distributed to California. More information on the Rulemaking is available here.
  • January 13, 2023 – The CPUC submitted a timely bulk availability challenge to the FCC based on initial analysis and validation of availability data reported by the largest providers in California. The final version of the FCC map will be used to determine California’s allocation of BEAD funding. More information on the FCC map and challenge process is available here.
  • January 11, 2023 – The CPUC submitted the CD-450 Application Form to NTIA and NIST to accept NTIA’s award of $5 million in Initial Planning Funds for the BEAD program. Funds will be used to create the 5-Year Action Plan and for related BEAD program planning activities consistent with the BEAD Initial Planning Budget.
    • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) notified CPUC via letter on March 1, 2023, that the remaining $2.68 million in Initial Planning Funds awarded to the CPUC have been authorized after CPUC provided clarification and additional information on budgeted activities.
  • December 30, 2022 – The FCC released the second draft of the Fabric for the draft National Broadband Map, adding 16,024 additional California locations based on the CPUC’s bulk Fabric challenge submitted in November. 
  • December 7, 2022 – The CPUC received formal notice of being awarded $5 million in Initial Planning Funds.
    • The 5-Year Action Plan is due 270 days after California received the Initial Planning Funds.
  • November 18, 2022 – The FCC released the draft National Broadband Map, a location-by-location view of high-speed Internet availability. 
  • November 4, 2022 – The CPUC submitted a timely bulk Fabric challenge to the FCC’s draft National Broadband Map Fabric.
  • September 12, 2022 – The FCC opened the first bulk Fabric challenge process for its draft National Broadband Map Fabric.
  • August 12, 2022 – The CPUC submitted an application for BEAD Initial Planning Funds.
  • July 1, 2022 – The Governor submitted a Letter of Intent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for California to participate in the BEAD Program
  • May 13, 2022 – The NTIA released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the BEAD Program.

Upcoming Dates

  • May 5, 2023 – Comments on BEAD Challenge Process Policy Notice and guidance due to NTIA by midnight EDT. Email BEAD@NTIA.gov to submit comments. 
    May 8, 2023 – Reply Comments on Order Instituting Rulemaking due (deadline extended). 
  • By June 30, 2023 – NTIA plans to announce BEAD allocations, using the most up-to-date version of the FCC maps as a guide.
  • The CPUC must submit a 5-Year Action Plan to NTIA for approval in August of 2023. More information on the 5-Year Action Plan is available from NTIA here
  • The BEAD Initial Proposal is due 180 days after the NTIA’s notice of funding amounts is issued. 


NTIA BEAD Program Overview

BEAD 5-Year Action Plan

BEAD and Digital Equity Slides (May 2022)

California Digital Equity Plan

Send questions to BEAD@cpuc.ca.gov

Broadband for All, Digital Equity, and BEAD Planning Workshop - Merced (April 14, 2023)

Broadband for All, Digital Equity, and BEAD Planning Workshop - Fresno (April 15, 2023)

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