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FCC Announces $240M in Connect America Funding

FCC Authorizes Over $240 Million for Rural Broadband

Connect America Fund Support Will Expand Deployment to Over 100,000 Rural Homes & Businesses

The Federal Communications Commission today authorized more than $240 million in funding over ten years to expand rural broadband deployment in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.  These investments will connect more than 100,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in these states.  Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month.

“Today’s announcement is another important step in our efforts to close the digital divide and connect rural Americans with the economic, healthcare, and educational opportunities made possible by high-speed broadband,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how funding provided through the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction is having a positive impact on the Wind River Indian Reservation in rural Wyoming.  And the funding we are authorizing today will bring those same benefits and connect more rural Americans with digital opportunity.”

This represents the ninth wave of support from the successful 2018 Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Providers must build out to 40% of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years.  Buildout must increase by 20% in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.

The funding being authorized in New York is the third wave of matching funds provided through the FCC’s partnership with the state’s New NY Broadband Program. 

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 10 years, and the minimum download/upload speeds to be provided: 

State

Company             

Minimum Speed

Support/10 Years

Locations

Arkansas

Wisper ISP, Inc

100/20 Mbps

$399,565

102

Illinois

Wisper ISP, Inc

100/20 Mbps

$35,079,137

8,907

Indiana

Wisper ISP, Inc

100/20 Mbps

$123,648

14

Kansas

Wisper ISP, Inc

100/20 Mbps

$1,607,524

414

Massachusetts

Westfield Gas & Electric Light Department

1 Gbps/500 Mbps; 10/1 Mbps

$10,228,950

4,665

Missouri

Wisper ISP, Inc

100/20 Mbps; 25/3 Mbps

$176,319,409

68,269

New York

Hughes Network Systems, LLC

25/3 Mbps

$7,026,075

22,305

Oklahoma

Wisper ISP, Inc

100/20 Mbps

$6,790,089

2,443

Wyoming

Mountain West Technologies

100/20 Mbps

$2,658,056

550

Total



$240,232,453

107,669

In total, the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction in 2018 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 in 45 states.  The FCC has now authorized nine waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to over $1.4 billion, which is expanding connectivity to 627,097 homes and businesses nationwide.  Funding rounds will continue until the authorization process is complete.

The Connect America Fund Phase II Auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America.  In January, the FCC took its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.

Source: FCC media announcement
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