FCC OK’s Funding For Rural Broadband From Connect America Fund Auction

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The FCC Tuesday authorized nearly $111.6 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 37,148 unserved rural homes and businesses in 12 states. This represents the first wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Providers will begin receiving funding this month.

In total, the auction allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next ten years.  Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding waves as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

“The FCC’s first-ever auction of fixed broadband support exceeded our expectations,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Indeed, providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today.  Moreover, this deployment is costing taxpayers much less than initially projected because the Commission allocated this funding through competitive bidding.”

The largest funding applications approved by the Commission Tuesday are as follows:

  • ECO Services, an electric cooperative, is receiving $22.2 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 7,700 locations in rural Oklahoma.
  • United Services, an electric cooperative, is receiving $20.2 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 5,500 locations in rural Missouri.
  • Hawaiian Telcom is receiving $18.1 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 3,900 locations in rural Hawaii.   

Below is a complete 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 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.

May 15, 2019

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