Last week, the FCC took the final steps in a plan to release $2 billion in federal funding for new broadband infrastructure in rural areas.
This plan is called the Connect America Fund II, and its goal is to subsidize work in underserviced areas. These areas are picked by the FCC, and companies will be able to apply to get subsides to support different areas selected by the FCC.
“With our decisions today, we jump the last big hurdle before holding a first-of-its-kind universal service reverse auction,” said Chairman Pai in an accompanying statement. “And I’ll remind
everyone that CAF II is only the beginning. In 2019, we will move on to the Remote Areas Fund for those areas still without high-speed broadband. Rural America has waited long enough.”
This process will begin in July 2018 when the Connect America Fund will start taking bids on areas listed by the FCC for rural broadband expansion.
This is all part of a bigger effort by the FCC to drive up broadband penetration in rural areas that traditionally have limited internet access. From making it easier for companies to roll out new fiber to support the expansion of broadband, this new funding is just one step in that bigger plan.
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