The FCC Monday authorized $166.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses in 22 states. The money represents the second wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction.
To obtain final authorization, providers must now submit a valid letter of credit from their bank and opinion letter(s) for each state where it has winning bids to the Universal Service Administrative Company.
The submission must be made before 6 p.m. Eastern on June 21. Here’s a common error list concerning letters of credit.
Providers will begin receiving funding this month. “Providers will deploy gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
In total, the auction last fall allocated $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 authorized the first wave of funding in May, providing $111.6 million in funding to expand service to 37,148 unserved homes and businesses in 12 states. It’s releasing the names of winning entities its ready to authorize support for in batches.
Over the coming months, the FCC will authorize additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction. The funding applications approved by the Commission include:
- Central Virginia Services, an electric coop, is receiving $28.6 million to deploy gigabit connections to nearly 11,000 locations in rural Virginia
- NTUA Wireless is receiving $28.4 million to serve over 7,000 homes and small businesses in Tribal areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, while SW DinehNet will serve 869 Tribal locations in New Mexico
- Co-Mo Comm, an electric coop, is receiving nearly $22 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 8,350 rural locations in Missouri
- Commnet of Nevada is receiving $23.6 million to provide service to over 12,800 homes and businesses in 11 counties in rural Nevada
Here is a list by state of the companies receiving support, the number of homes and businesses served (locations), the amount of support over ten years, and the minimum download/upload speeds to be provided.
Providers must build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years. Buildout must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.
June 11, 2019