Digital Inclusion

Indiana Broadband Office

BEAD Challenge Process

Starting in 2021, the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act funded a series of investments with the goal of providing broadband access to the entire country. Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) is a multi-phase program with requirements at each phase which US states and territories must follow for broadband money. The Indiana Broadband Office (IBO) has already completed the previous steps of creating a State Broadband Plan and getting public feedback on that plan. Now we’re in the challenge phase which will last from March 4- April 17 of 2024.

The IBO is required to create a “Challenge Process” through which a unit of local government, nonprofit organization, or broadband service provider may submit a challenge as to whether a particular broadband serviceable location is unserved or underserved. A location must be unserved or underserved in order to be eligible for BEAD funds.

This is the process through which eligible challenging entities can submit a challenge to how a location is marked in the fabric data map. Typically, this will mean that a location is marked as "served" when in reality other evidence supports that it is not.

We realize this process may seem overwhelming to both local governments and the communities they serve. There are a lot of requirements involved. That's why SIRPC created this Community Engagement Toolkit to help local governments and community anchor institutions who are want to participate in the challenge process.

Click the button below to download the Community Engagement Toolkit for the challenge process. Have comments or questions about the toolkit? Contact us! We'd love to hear from you.

Did You Know...

There is a portal to where members of the public can submit comments and evidence about their connectivity experience? Using the broadband map on, you can find out if your location is marked as "served", "unserved" or "underserved" and submit information which could lead to a challenge if you are not experiencing adequate internet. If your county or municipal government is registered in, that information will go straight to them for possible use in a challenge.