FCC Okays $121M for Rural Broadband

The FCC has authorized over $121 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband in 16 states. Providers will begin receiving the money later this month. These funds form the fourth wave of support from the 2018 Connect America Fund Phase II auction that allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai indicated that “This round of funding is yet another step toward closing the digital divide, providing access to digital opportunity to over 36,000 more unserved rural homes and businesses.” Providers have up to 3 years within which to build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas they won within a state. In each subsequent year, buildout must increase by 20 percent until completion at the end of the sixth year.