Broadband Resources Glossary

 This glossary defines common terms associated with broadband technology and grant programs to assist local governments in bringing broadband access to their communities.


Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) — Administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this program provides subsidies for low-income, tribal, and other qualifying households to access home broadband subscriptions and internet-enabled devices.

Bringing Online Opportunities to Texas (BOOT) — A state program that provides grants for internet developers to eligible areas. Requests for funding under BOOT must be for at least $200,000 but less than $5 million. Funding recipients are required to deploy service at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) symmetrically unless they can demonstrate special circumstances that would merit slower speeds. The state accepted applications for the first round of BOOT from April 3 to May 5 of 2023. As of March 1, 2024, the state was still in the process of determining awards. It also will be accepting a second round of BOOT applications but — as of March 1, 2024 — had not yet determined a timeline for that process.

Broadband Development Office (BDO) — Texas Broadband Development Office.

Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program — A federal program that provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access in the United States and its territories. Find more information in the FAQ, found here.

Community Anchor Institution (CAI) — A school, library, health clinic, health center, hospital or other medical provider public safety entity, institution of higher education, public housing organization (including any public housing agency, HUD-assisted housing organization or tribal housing organization) or community support organization that facilitates greater use of broadband service by vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals, unemployed individuals, children, incarcerated individuals and aged individuals.

Community Based Organization (CBO) — An organization representing and serving a given community or segment of a community. Often structured as nonprofit organizations, CBOs strive to improve community well-being.

Councils of Governments (COG) — Voluntary organizations of local governmental entities that coordinate programs and services to address needs that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Texas has 24 COG regions.

Digital Equity Act of 2021 (DEA) — A federal law authorizing more than $2.75 billion in grant funding nationwide and $1 billion in Texas over five years to support digital inclusion programs. The law was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish grant programs.

Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program — A tranche of money under the Digital Equity Act of 2021. Texas anticipates receiving approximately $130 million under this program, and has received word of an initial allocation of $55.6 million. A Notice of Funding Opportunity was published on March 28, 2024 on the website of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, at this link. Additional information can be found at this link.

Digital Resources Mapping Tool Survey (DRMTS) — An online inventory of organizations and entities that provide or may be interested in providing digital opportunity-related programs, plans and services within Texas. The DRMTS was widely disseminated over a four-month period, from April to August 2023, to state, county and local agencies, councils of governments (COGs), community-based organizations (CBOs), nonprofits, faith-based groups, community anchor institutions (CAIs), and private sector companies.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — An independent governmental agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The FCC is the United States’ primary authority for communications law. It also administers the Affordable Connectivity Program and developed a National Broadband Map.

Governor’s Broadband Development Council (GBDC) — Established in 2019 by the 86th Legislature, the GBDC is charged with studying and identifying ways to provide internet access to underserved areas of Texas. The council is composed of one nonvoting member appointed by the Broadband Development Office and voting members appointed by the Governor of Texas.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — Federal legislation from 2021 that included the Broadband Equity, Access, and Development (BEAD) Program and the Digital Equity Act (DEA).

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) — A federal agency that administers the BEAD and State Digital Equity Planning Grant Programs.

Public Engagement Model — The model established by the BDO to develop a plan that represents all regions and covered populations from across the state. The model enabled extensive public input through online and paper surveys and regional meetings with communities in all 12 regions of the state, and by engaging state agencies, nonprofit entities, and industry leaders in meetings of the Statewide Working Group and Priority Area Task Forces.

Technical Assistance Program (TAP) — A program established by the Broadband Development Office to provide additional resources to communities that need help addressing their local digital divide. As authorized by the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, TAP augments local government and community capacities to prepare for forthcoming state and federal funds as well as to identify localized opportunities. The TAP website can be found at this link.

Tier E license — A license that allows units of local government, nonprofit organizations, and certain other organizations to participate in the BEAD Challenge process. To access the license, such an organization must certify that it meets Tier E requirements. Among the requirements is an FCC registration number. More information can be found at:

Texas Broadband Development Map — A comprehensive address-level map showing broadband availability data within the state. The purpose of this map is to identify eligible areas for funding projects, and it will be subject to challenges and updates as part of the overall BEAD program. According to BDO officials, the office will adopt data from the FCC’s National Broadband Map, found here, for the Texas map to ensure the use of the latest broadband data. However, the BDO also continues developing a stand-alone map that will feature separate information not included in the national map — such as information pertaining to the location of school campuses. This stand-alone map will be released during the spring of 2024. Find more information in the FAQ, found here.

Texas Broadband Development Office (BDO) — A state governmental bureau established by the Texas Legislature Texas in 2021 and tasked with awarding grants, loans, and other incentives to expand access to broadband services to underserved areas of Texas. The Broadband Development Office operates under the auspices of the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund — Created in 2023 through passage of House Bill 9 during the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund counts with an $1.1 billion appropriation from the Texas Legislature — money intended for developers to build out internet service in remote areas of the state.

Texas Broadband Plan — A plan established by the Texas Broadband Development office in 2022 that quantified goals for connecting Texans to high-speed internet, improving internet affordability, and assisting Texans with digital literacy challenges.  The plan was mandated with the adoption of HB 5 in 2021 that also created the Broadband Development Office.

Texas Broadband Pole Replacement Program — A program that aims to speed up rural broadband deployment by reimbursing a portion of eligible pole replacement costs. Eligible participants can receive reimbursements per pole, ranging from 50 percent of eligible costs to $5k (whichever is less). The BDO is currently researching and fact-finding to develop the program.

Texas Digital Opportunity Plan (TDOP) — A roadmap for expanding the availability of broadband service in Texas, device access, digital skills training, and cybersecurity awareness. The Texas Broadband Development Office submitted the plan to the NTIA on February 28, 2024, and the federal agency officially accepted it on March 28, 2024. The plan will inform the grant-making strategy of the BDO.

Texas Digital Opportunity Survey — A tool to identify the digital opportunity barriers affecting Texas households, such as the lack of infrastructure, digital literacy, affordable service, and access to devices. Open to all Texas residents over the age of 18 and available from April through August 2023, the survey was accessible in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin. The Digital Opportunity Survey received valid responses from residents of 250 Texas counties, representing individuals from all covered populations.