NTCA, Fiber Broadband Association Launch Broadband Infrastructure Playbook 3.0

Aug. 3, 2023
Industry advocacy groups address how fiber providers can better navigate permitting issues in the communities they are looking to serve.

NTCA and the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) released the first module from their new “Playbook 3.0,” the latest iteration of their joint “Broadband Infrastructure Playbook.” The organizations said the first module is dedicated to permitting and will be followed by other modules that will address cybersecurity, supply chain risk management, and broadband coverage challenge processes.

The first module, “Permitting: Access to State and Local Rights-of-Way and Infrastructure,” provides recommendations to streamline the permitting process for broadband deployment so that the BEAD program can meet its ambitious goals to connect all Americans as soon as possible. NTCA and FBA will be shared with state broadband offices and other stakeholders through direct outreach and webinars.

But this is just one part of a broader set of modules the two groups plan to release in the next two to three months. Working with Cartesian, NTCA and FBA will remove various Playbook 3.0 modules, providing “deeper dives” on key aspects of what states must tackle in their initial proposals. These modules will cover issues that range from permitting and how to set an “extremely high-cost threshold” to cybersecurity, supply chain risk management and data for challenge processes.

“Our hope is that this intense focus on individual aspects of the program will help state broadband offices in crafting their initial proposals and stakeholders in engaging with the offices as decisions are made,” said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield and Fiber Broadband Association President and CEO Gary Bolton in a blog announcing the initiative.

The “Permitting: Access to State and Local Rights-of-Way and Infrastructure” module is located on NTCA’s Broadband Opportunity Hub and FBA’s Research and Resources page between July and October.

This new module is part of an ongoing effort the two advocacy groups launched in early 2022 to help state broadband offices and other stakeholders prepare to access funding from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. As states develop their plans for the distribution of BEAD funding, NTCA and FBA will release a series of Playbook 3.0 modules over the next few months, providing deeper dives into critical aspects of what states must tackle in their initial proposals.

Not long after the BEAD program was first signed into law, NTCA and FBA released a “Broadband Infrastructure Playbook,” mapping out a format for many of the critical issues that states would need to wrestle with in implementing the program and providing recommendations on how they might realize the promise of this unprecedented investment opportunity. NTCA and FBA then published Playbook v 2.0 shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released its BEAD Notice of Funding Opportunity in May 2022, updating the recommendations from the original version in light of the processes and requirements outlined in that notice.