BEAD Challenge Process


BEAD Challenge Map (Rebuttal)

The Tennessee BEAD Challenge Map portrays all up-to-date Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSLs) and Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) in Tennessee. All Tennesseans are welcome to explore our map.

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Rebuttal Phase Resources

The following files contain useful information for the BEAD Challenge Process. 

Bead Challenge Guidebook

The Challenge Process is an opportunity for local governments, nonprofits, and internet service providers to view the state’s internet coverage and challenge ECD’s determination of the internet coverage for locations. Challengers can provide evidence demonstrating that locations are unserved or underserved, which will influence where BEAD funds will be allocated.

  • Unserved locations have access to service that is less than 25/3 Mbps.
  • Underserved locations have access to service that is less than 100/20 Mbps, but at least 25/3 Mbps.

Eligible challenges will include:

  • C. This location should qualify as an eligible Community Anchor Institution (CAI) – The map does not indicate that there is a CAI at this address but the location falls within the definition of CAIs.
  • R. This location is not an eligible CAI – The map indicates that this is the address of a CAI, but the location does not fall within the definitions of CAIs.
  • A. Availability – The broadband service identified is not offered at the location, including a unit of a multiple dwelling unit (MDU).
  • D. Data Cap – The only service plans marketed to consumers impose an unreasonable capacity allowance (“data cap”) on the consumer.
  • T. Technology – The technology indicated for this location is incorrect.
  • B. Business Service Only – The location is residential, but the service offered is marketed or available only to businesses.
  • E. Enforceable Commitment – The challenger has knowledge that broadband will be deployed at this location by the date established in the deployment obligation. The challenger will need to provide evidence to prove the enforceable commitment.
  • N. Not Part of Enforceable Commitment – This location is in an area that is subject to an enforceable commitment to less than 100% of locations and the location is not covered by that commitment.
  • P. Planned Service – The challenger has knowledge that broadband will be deployed at this location by June 30, 2024, without an enforceable commitment or a provider is building out broadband offering performance beyond the requirements of an enforceable commitment.

The following are required for a community support organization to be defined as a CAI:

  • Lacks access to a 1 Gig upload/ 1Gig Download broadband internet connection.
  • Has community members that identify with at least one of the following covered populations AND/OR the institution serves at least one of the covered populations.
    • Aging Individuals
    • Incarcerated or Recently Incarcerated Individual.
    • Individuals with a Language Barrier
    • Individuals with a Disability
    • Low-Income Households
    • Racial/Ethnic Minorities
    • Rural Residents
    • Veterans
  • Provides at least one of the following digital services for their community’s use:
    • Has a process for offering community members access to laptops, desktops, tablets, hotspots, and/or other digital devices.
    • Hosts digital skills training for their community.
    • A staff member that serves as a digital navigator, technical support, and/or broadband adoption support.

Evidence will be required for each Challenge Type. ECD will carefully review challenges and their supporting evidence to determine if the challenge is accepted or not.

Following the Challenge Phase and review of submitted challenges, the state will enter the Rebuttal Phase. This is where local governments, nonprofits, and internet service providers will have the opportunity to view the submitted challenges and rebut the result. This will require evidence supporting that the challenge is incorrect.

  • Check back with this website as we will continue to upload useful resources for the Challenge Process.
  • Obtain a fabric data license from CostQuest. This is recommended for permissible challengers that intend to submit a large number of challenges. Obtaining a CostQuest license will allow challengers to download the FCC National Broadband Fabric for Tennessee. While a CostQuest license is not required, access to this data will be helpful for any challengers submitting bulk challenges. Find additional information here: FCC Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric - CostQuest
  • Webinars that will walk through how to rebut or sustain a challenge.
  • Updates to the guidebook and additional resources that walk through how to participate in the rebuttal process.
  • Email communications from
  • Webinars that will walk through how to submit a Challenge.
  • A guidebook detailing the Challenge Process and how to submit a Challenge.
  • A form where ISPs, local governments, and nonprofits can preregister for the Challenge Process. This will be required to submit a challenge.

The following files contain useful information for the BEAD Challenge Process.

Bead Challenge Guidebook

Eligible for BEAD funding:

The State Broadband Office recognizes that the CAI FRN data may have inaccurate or outdated information. Should you notice any FRNs that are incorrect, we ask that you please email the CAI entity name and address with the correct FRN or submit the pre-registration form as “other” with the needed details.

Supplemental Information

Bulk Upload Templates

Webinar Recordings