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BEAD Map Challenge Process

Background

Illinois was awarded $1.04 billion in federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program funds by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to continue our efforts to connect all homes and businesses to modern high-speed internet.

The BEAD Program rules require states to prioritize funds in this order: 

  1. Connect unserved locations (available service is 25/3 megabits per second or less)

  2. Connect underserved locations (available service is at least 25/3 mbps but less than 100/20 mbps)

  3. Connect Community Anchor Institutions to gigabit symmetrical service (1,000/1,000 mbp

Challenge Process

Let’s get the map right!

What is the challenge process?  

The challenge process gives Illinoisians an opportunity to correct inaccuracies in the state’s broadband map so it reflects the most up-to-date broadband access across the state. The updated map will determine which locations are eligible for funding through the BEAD program. 

Who is eligible to submit a challenge? 

NTIA rules allow units of local government, non-profit organizations, and internet service providers to submit challenges. Individuals in Illinois can participate by visiting BEADchallenge.org and following the instructions for taking internet speed tests and submitting the results, or by coordinating with registered local governments or non-profits to submit a challenge. 

When is the challenge process happening? 

Illinois will launch its challenge process on February 20, and the Challenge Phase, including the Challenge Portal, will open on February 27 and be available for 21 days.

Help us make sure BEAD dollars go where they are needed most! 

Get involved

  • Pre-Register: Pre-registration is required to participate in the challenge processClick here to pre-register.
    • Update as of Jan. 12: The IOB encourages pre-registration before the start of the challenge process, but will also accept registration during the challenge window through March 13 at 5 pm. 
  • Attend a Webinar: Sign-up here to join an upcoming webinar to learn more about the BEAD Challenge Process.

  • Test Your Internet Speed: Test the speed and quality of internet service in your community and submit your results.

    • Visit BEADchallenge.org.

    • Take a speed test on three separate dates, and complete the information fields requested, including your address and speed you currently subscribe to. 

Resources

1.  Community Outreach Toolkit

Download social media graphics and one-pagers with instructions on how community members can participate in improving the broadband map.

2.  How-to Webinar Series

Click here for the How-To Webinar Series

FAQs from past webinar

3.  Related Planning Documents

Challenge Phase Resources

Illinois’ BEAD Mapping Challenge Process has started, and non-profits, units of local government, and internet service providers can submit challenges from February 27 – March 18, 2024 using the BEAD Challenge Portal.   Residents can also complete 3 speed tests over 3 days anytime before March 18, 2024 at BEADchallenge.org.

To participate in the Challenge Phase: 

  • Review the Challenge Process User Guide
  • Visit the BEAD Challenge Map
  • Submit challenges in the BEAD Challenge Portal
    • Pre-registration is required to access the BEAD Challenge Portal. Non-profits, local governments, and ISPs can pre-register at this link. Pre-registered and verified challengers will receive an email prompting them to create an account on February 27 and on a rolling basis. 

Challenge Process User Guide

Phase Duration and Dates

Publication of Eligible Locations

Public documentation posted, including an explanation of the state’s Challenge Process, the classification of all locations and CAIs, and the timeline for the full Challenge Process.

The IOB informs units of local government, non-profits, and internet service providers about the challenge process timeline, deadlines, and how each will be notified of challenges.

7 days

February 20 – February 26, 2024 

Challenge Phase

The IOB accepts challenges through the BEAD Challenge Portal.

21 days

February 27 – March 18, 2024

Challenge Validation (Pre-Rebuttal)

The IOB reviews challenges submitted during Challenge Phase and evaluates for Minimum Level of Evidence. Then, IOB publishes all challenges on the BEAD Challenge Map website, determines area challenges and prepares for Rebuttal Phase.

28 days

March 19 – April 15, 2024

Rebuttal

The IOB posts accepted challenges and shares notifications about rebuttal opportunities. The IOB accepts rebuttals.

21 days

April 16 – May 6, 2024

Final Adjudication

The IOB reviews and validates rebuttals, then posts publicly to the BEAD Challenge Map website. Finally, the IOB reviews all challenges and rebuttals and finalizes the BEAD Challenge Map.

May 7 – June 18, 2024

(Remainder of the 120-day Challenge Process window)

Publication of Final Determinations

The IOB publishes the final determinations after NTIA review.

Early Summer 2024, but dependent on the NTIA review and approval timeline

 

BEAD Challenge Map

Illinoisans can now explore the BEAD Challenge Map to check the broadband availability of locations in your community. Each location is marked as eligible or ineligible for infrastructure funds based on available speeds.

Broadband Availability Classifications (posted on February 2, 2024)

View a list of locations based on their classification as unserved, underserved, and served, plus a list of all Community Anchor Institutions and their eligibility status:

Bulk Challenge Templates

To submit challenges in bulk, please download the csv template label for the respective Challenge Type:

Download the zip of all bulk challenge csv templates.

Bulk Challenge Reference Documents

Refer to the following resources to help fill in csv templates and collect proper evidence for challenges:

Important Notes:

Every challenge requires a Location ID or CAI ID:

  • Find Location IDs for Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) (i.e., households, businesses) using the BEAD Challenge Map (click on a location to view Location ID) or by accessing the FCC Data Fabric version 3.2 through CostQuest (learn more or email ifasupport@costquest.com)
  • Find CAI IDs for Community Anchor Institutions (i.e., libraries, schools, hospitals) using the BEAD Challenge Map (click on a location to view CAI ID) or in the List of Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) above

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