FCC OKs Over $112 Million in Rural Broadband Funding

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The FCC Thursday authorized over $112.2 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband in nine states. The awards are the fifth round of funding from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Broadband providers will begin receiving the money later this month. 

In total, the auction last year allocated $1.488 billion in support over the next ten years to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses nationwide. The action brings the total authorized funding to over $1 billion. Additional rounds will be authorized in the coming months. 

Funding applications approved by the agency Thursday include:

  • Cal.net is receiving over $50.5 million over ten years to deploy service to 20,859 homes and businesses in California. Most of them will get speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream/20 Mbps upstream, using fixed wireless technology
  • W.A.T.C.H TV is receiving nearly $53.4 million over ten years to deploy service to 23,957 rural homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream/20 Mbps upstream are anticipated, using fixed wireless technology
  • Four rural phone companies are receiving $1.8 million to offer gigabit-speed fiber service to 536 rural homes and businesses in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

Read 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 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.

September 13, 2019

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