The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) charged the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with establishing the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and ensuring that BEAD-funded broadband infrastructure projects comply with the Buy America Domestic Content Procurement Preference (Buy America Preference) of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA).
In accordance with BABA, this notice advises that the Department of Commerce (DOC) is proposing to issue a limited, general applicability, nonavailability waiver of the Buy America Domestic Content Procurement Preference (Buy America Preference) to recipients of Federal financial assistance under NTIA’s BEAD Program, which will flow down to subrecipients.
Download the waiver and learn more on the Build America Buy America page of the Department of Commerce.
Incentivizes the domestic production of specific manufactured products based on strategic prioritization criteria, including network and data security, which will directly expand American job opportunities,
Promotes broad participation in the BEAD Program,
Ensures that BEAD Program awardees will have access to the manufactured products necessary to fulfill their obligations under the program,
Allows funding recipients to continue to provide economic opportunity through innovation and timely deployment of broadband infrastructure, which is recognized to expand job opportunities, and
Supports the timely development of critical domestic infrastructure.
Recipients to whom the waiver applies must report on their purchases of items from foreign sources and as required to ensure BABA compliance. Through this Notice, NTIA seeks public comment on the proposed waiver.
Comments on the proposed waiver described in this Notice are due on or before September 21, 2023.
The proposed waiver will, if granted, be effective for BEAD Program awards obligated after the effective date of the final waiver for a period of five years.
DOC will review this waiver no less than annually to assess whether it remains necessary to the fulfillment of DOC’s missions and goals and consistent with applicable legal authorities, such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Executive Order 14005, Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-22-11, Initial Implementation Guidance on Application of Buy America Preference in Federal Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure (OMB-22-11).
Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed BEAD Program limited, general applicability, nonavailability waiver. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by DOC, and enables DOC to make them immediately available to the public.
Please submit comments to BABA@ntia.gov with the subject “BEAD Program Nonavailability Waiver.”
Note that all submissions received, including any personal information therein, may be publicly posted without change or alteration. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
For questions about this notice, please contact Will Arbuckle, Policy Advisor, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth (OICG), National Telecommunication and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4887, Washington, DC 20230, via telephone at (202) 482-2048 or by email at BABA@ntia.gov.