Louisiana Begins BEAD Pre-Qualifications


The preliminary pre-qualification will allow subgrantees to prepare qualification materials.

Louisiana Begins BEAD Pre-Qualifications Photo of Veneeth Iyengar of ConnectLA

June 6, 2024 – ConnectLA began preliminary pre-qualifications on Monday for prospective subgrantees to submit their required documentation early for review and request provisions for the state’s Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment program, called GUMBO 2.0. 

Louisiana was awarded $1.355 billion through BEAD funds to assist applicants in deploying broadband services to unserved areas statewide.

According to the state’s Initial Proposal Volume 2, applicants must wait to submit final documentation until ConnectLA receives approval from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and finalizes the sub-project areas. 

Following this, ConnectLA, the Louisiana Office of Broadband Development & Connectivity, will review and approve pre-qualifications over a 30-day period. Once BEAD-eligible locations are approved, a formal 2-week pre-qualification period for application submission will begin, and ConnectLA will notify applicants accordingly.

There are two rounds during the process. Round 1 invites prospective subgrantees to submit their applications for the BEAD/GUMBO 2.0 program during a two-week pre-qualification period, with processing taking approximately 2-4 weeks. All unawarded Round 1 applicants automatically move to Round 2 and cannot withdraw. Applicants can make changes to their applications or leave them unchanged, with processing and final subgrant selections taking approximately 6-8 weeks.

The pre-qualification requirements in the subgrant program documents will be posted on the official ConnectLA webpage for applicants interested in the BEAD/GUMBO 2.0 program.

Louisiana became the first state in December to have both volumes of its broadband grant  proposal approved, which outline how the state plans to accept and process challenges to government data on broadband availability in underserved areas. The state must determine within one year for its subgrantees under the program, with a total timeline of about seven months from public notification to final selection.

“We have always worked with a sense of urgency to eliminate the digital divide,” said Veneeth Iyengar, director of ConnectLA, regarding the BEAD program challenge process that began in the state on October 6. “Today’s start of the challenge process represents a significant step in drawing down funds from BEAD and ensuring that Louisianans in both rural and urban areas have what they have always needed and deserved: high-speed, affordable, and reliable internet.”