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Overview

The Challenge Process is a procedure set up by each state or territory participating in the BEAD Program. It enables eligible organizations and government units to challenge the determinations in a state's Initial Proposal concerning the eligibility of specific locations or community anchor institutions for grant funds. During the challenge process, the State Broadband Program Office will only allow challenges from nonprofit organizations, units of local and tribal governments, and broadband service providers. While NTIA guidelines state that residents cannot submit challenges directly, they are encouraged to work with local governments and non-profit entities to provide speed test data to support challenges.

  • Unserved locations are defined as Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) that lack access to Reliable Broadband Service at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream and latency levels low enough to support real-time, interactive applications.
  • Underserved locations are defined as BSLs that lack access to Reliable Broadband Service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream and latency levels low enough to support real-time, interactive applications.

The Challenge Process is a requirement of North Dakota’s BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 1 and will help finalize the list of locations that need broadband service through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. North Dakota will use the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Map to create the initial list of unserved and underserved locations and then modify that data based on the process outlined in the state Initial Proposal Volume 1. The formal challenge process will begin once NTIA approves the Initial Proposal, which is anticipated to occur mid-March.

broadband challenge process timeline from February through July 2024

Register

Register Here

Who can challenge?

Only the following parties are allowed to submit challenges, per NTIA guidelines:

  • Local Governments
  • Tribal Governments
  • Broadband Internet Service Providers
  • Nonprofit Organizations

After submitting your registration form, the NDIT team will review your request. If approved, your account will be created, and you will receive a confirmation email. If clarification is needed, we will contact you using the email address listed in your registration form.

What do I need to do to participate?

Participating entities need a no-cost NTIA Tier D or Tier E License from CostQuest Associates to participate in the Challenge Process. Review the NTIA Fabric Licensing FAQs and the NTIA Fabric Tier D & E Licensing Overview Video to learn about the licensing process and determine the appropriate tier license for your organization.

For entities that participate in any federal broadband programs, including entities with reporting requirement or entities that plan to participate in the BEAD sub-granting process:

  • The NTIA Tier D License is intended for qualified or presumptively qualified, prospective direct recipients or indirect subrecipients, and awarded direct recipients or indirect subrecipients to participate in Federal Broadband Granting Agency's (FBGA) broadband grant programs. Use the guide for requesting an NTIA Tier D to assist in completing the application process.
  • Request NTIA Tier D License

For entities that will participate in the challenge process, but do not participate in federal programs:

  • The NTIA Tier E license is intended for units of local government, non-profits, and other organizations that have signed an FCC Tier 4 license.  
    Use the guide for requesting an NTIA Tier E to assist in completing the application process.
  • Request NTIA Tier E License

Resources

Use the following resources to better understand the Challenge Process. More resources will be added as needed.


For more information, email us at broadband@nd.gov