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US FCC Authorizes USD 524 Million in Funding for Rural Broadband

Infrastructure News - Published on Wed, 17 Jul 2019

Image Source: Ars Technica
US FCC authorized over USD 524 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 205,520 unserved rural homes and businesses in 23 states, representing the third wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Providers will begin receiving funding this month.

In total, the auction last fall allocated USD 1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years. The FCC has already authorized two waves of funding in May and June, and funds from those first two waves are expanding connectivity to nearly 100,000 homes and businesses that lack service. Today’s action brings total authorized funding to nearly USD 803 million, or over half of the USD 1.488 billion allocated through the auction, expanding connectivity to 305,518 homes and businesses.

In the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding as it approves remaining applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

The Connect America Fund Phase II auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America. In addition to the funding that is being made available through this auction, Chairman Pai recently proposed that the FCC launch a new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would provide at least USD 20.4 billion over 10 years to expand broadband to additional rural areas

If approved, this Fund would represent the FCC’s single biggest step yet to close the digital divide. The FCC is scheduled to vote on launching a rulemaking to establish the Fund on August 1.

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Posted By : TelecomGuru on Wed, 17 Jul 2019
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