FCC proposes fund to bridge rural digital divide in USA

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund of US$20.4 billion to promote rural digital inclusion. The fund will be allocated over a period of 10 years and will be available to cable providers, wireless companies, and electric co-ops. It will further target areas that lack access to 25/3 Mbps broadband services. ‘This new fund would target rural areas across the country where residents currently lack access to adequate broadband and would deploy high-speed broadband to millions of rural Americans in an efficient and effective manner,’ noted FCC Chairman Ajit Pa. The FCC will vote on the rules on 30 January 2020 which calls for two-phased process to disburse the money in the fund and provides that the lowest bid would win the auction.