Eligible entities interested in applying for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program funds can have access to broadband serviceable location data including latitude and longitude. A Tier E License from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides this at no cost. The Tier E License is designed for local governments, Tribes and tribal entities, and non-profit organizations. The application process follows.

Broadband Service Providers can obtain serviceable location data by accessing the information provided at How Broadband Service Providers Can Access the Location Fabric – BDC Help Center (fcc.gov) and can Request a Tier D License to participate in the Challenge Process detailed below. 

What location information is available? 

BEAD serviceable location geographic coordinates and addresses (if available) are included for eligible entities with a free Tier E License agreement.

What types of eligible entities can obtain a Tier E License?  

The Tier E License is intended for units of local government, Tribes and tribal entities, non-profits, and other organizations that have signed a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Tier E License agreement.

Tier E License Application Process

To obtain a Tier E License, follow these three steps:  

Step 1. Obtain an FCC Federal Registration Number 

Eligible entities must first obtain a FCC Registration Number (FRN) in the Universal Licensing System (ULS). Information required to obtain an FRN includes:

  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). For individuals this is a Social Security Number and for businesses this is an Employer Identification Number
  • The name of the individual or business
  • Type of business
  • Contact information
Step 2. Request a Tier E License

 Review the directions on how to obtain a Tier E License.  Once you have the required license application information, request an NTIA Tier E License here.

Step 3. Download the Location Data

Once your application has been accepted, download the location data.

Background on the Initial Proposal Sent to the NTIA

On December 27, 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) submitted its Initial Proposal for implementing the state’s $1.86 billion BEAD allocation to the NTIA for approval. Volume I of the Initial Proposal details how California plans to address challenges to the FCC broadband coverage data, to get as accurate picture as possible of which homes and businesses lack adequate internet access. Volume II outlines how California is looking to fund new infrastructure with its BEAD allocation. Once the Initial Proposal is approved by the NTIA, the CPUC will begin the Challenge Process.

Once Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal is approved by the NTIA, the CPUC will vote on a Proposed Decision enabling the Challenge Process to begin. The Challenge Process is the method by which permissible challengers as defined by NTIA will be able to challenge the served, underserved, or unserved status of Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs), which will be preliminarily determined based on the FCC's National Broadband Map according to BEAD requirements, as well as data not present in the National Broadband Map to the extent allowed by NTIA.

In preparation for the Challenge Process, the CPUC recommends that eligible entities considering applying for BEAD program funding obtain a no-cost Tier E License which is needed to review the underlying National Broadband Map data in detail. Pursuant to federal rules, challenges to the FCC’s Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric cannot be considered as part of the BEAD Challenge Process, so only challenges to the served, underserved, or unserved status of a BSL will be considered through the BEAD Challenge Process.