Healthy New Jersey

NJ Office of Broadband Connectivity

BEAD Challenge Process

  • The Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program requires the New Jersey Office of Broadband Connectivity (OBC) to allow stakeholders to challenge the accuracy of BEAD-eligible locations. Eligible locations consist of broadband serviceable locations (BSLs) that are unserved and underserved and are not subject to an enforceable commitment.
    • Unserved locations are defined as 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.
    • Enforceable commitments include any federal, state, or local commitment to deploy qualifying broadband.
  • The OBC 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 OBC’s Approved Initial Proposal Volume 1.
  • To submit a challenge, you must represent a broadband service provider, local government, tribal government, or non-profit organization. Complete the form to pre-register.
    Pre-Registration
  • If you are a broadband service provider and wish to share your feedback on the Challenge Process, please complete this form.
    Provider Feedback

STATE BROADBAND CHALLENGE PROCESS AND TIMELINE EXPLAINED

Below are the four distinct phases and a brief timeline describing the of the challenge process.

Phase 1 - Registration and Location Publication

  • The broadband challenge map will be made public 14 days before challenges are accepted, to allow eligible challengers time to review the map and prepare their challenges. Eligible challengers will be able to register to the portal.

Phase 2 - Challenge Process Begin

  • During the challenge phase, eligible challengers will be able to submit challenges through the challenge portal. Supporting evidence will be required for all challenges.
  • Challenges will be sent to the service provider whose service availability and performance are being challenged so that rebuttals can be prepared.
  • After a challenge is received for a broadband-serviceable location, that location will be designated as “challenged” on the map.
  • The window of time to submit challenges will last for 60 days.

Phase 3 - Rebuttal

  • During the rebuttal phase, challenged service providers may submit evidence to rebut the challenge for specific broadband-serviceable locations.
  • Challenged service providers may choose not to rebut the challenge. If so, the challenge is sustained, and the designation of the location will be changed accordingly.
  • If challenged service providers choose to rebut a challenge, the challenged location will be designated as “disputed” on the map.
  • Supporting evidence will be required for all rebuttals.
  • Challenges that are disputed will enter the final determination phase.
  • The rebuttal phase will last for 30 days, meaning, a challenged service provider will have 30 days after receiving a challenge to submit a rebuttal.

Phase 4 - Final Determination

  • Following the rebuttal phase, the State Broadband Office will review all disputed locations and make a final determination of the location’s classification.
  • At the end of the final determination phase, all challenges will be determined as either “sustained” or “rejected”.
  • The final determination phase will last for 30 days, meaning, State Broadband Office will have 30 days from receipt of a rebuttal to release the final determination for the challenge.

Request a CostQuest License

Participating entities are encouraged to request a no-cost NTIA Tier D or Tier E License from CostQuest Associates to participate in the State Broadband Challenge Process. However, obtaining a CostQuest license is not required to participate in the challenge process. This license will permit licensees to view the BSL data on a more granular level and is an important tool for analyzing areas that may need to be challenged. The process to request a license may take up to two weeks. 

How to Request a License  

Review the NTIA Fabric Licensing FAQ to learn about the licensing process and determine the appropriate tier license for your organization.  

Tier D  

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, should request a Tier D License. Internet service providers, for example, should request a Tier D license. Licensees will be similar to those with an FCC Fabric Tier 2 license.  

Use this guide for requesting an NTIA Tier D to assist in completing the application process. 

Request Tier D License

Tier E  

Entities that will participate in the challenge process, but do not participate in federal broadband programs, should request Tier E license. Nonprofit organizations, for example, should request Tier E license. Licensees will be similar to those with an FCC Fabric Tier 4 license.  

Use this guide for requesting an NTIA Tier E to assist with completing the application process.  

Request Tier E License 

If you have any questions, CostQuest can be reached directly by emailing IFAsupport@costquest.com.

BEAD-Eligible Location Data

A list of broadband serviceable locations that are currently identified as unserved can be accessed at this link. A list of broadband-serviceable locations that are currently identified as underserved can be accessed at this link.

OBC published the list of unserved and underserved broadband serviceable locations (BSLs) for the New Jersey Challenge Process. The BSLs are based on the May 10th, 2024, version of the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection and version 4.0 of the FCC’s BSL Location Fabric.

Locations are identified by Location ID number. Location IDs from these lists can be used in conjunction with the Fabric to allow challengers to build an internal map for data analysis


Back
to top