Telephone Terminals in Disarray on Phone Pole

The FCC is Working on Providing $500 Million in Additional Funding For Rural Broadband

Telephone Terminals in Disarray on Phone PoleYesterday the FCC announced a proposal that would provide an additional $500 million in new funding for rural broadband.

In a statement from the FCC explained their goal with the new funding:

“Closing the digital divide is the FCC’s top priority. A key way to reach this goal in rural America is updating the FCC’s high-cost universal service program to encourage cooperatives and other small, rural carriers to build more online infrastructure. We need more deployment in sparsely populated rural areas if we’re going to extend digital opportunity to all Americans.

But I’ve heard from community leaders, Congress, and carriers that insufficient, unpredictable funding has kept them from reaching this goal. With the $500 million in new funding provided by this order, we’ll boost broadband deployment in rural America and put our high-cost system on a more efficient path, helping to ensure that every American can benefit from the digital revolution.”

This is just one more step in recent efforts to make it easier for new broadband to roll out nationwide. Last year it was announced that the FCC would be creating new rules to make it easier for new broadband wiring, removing hurdles for new ISPs to get access to poles to run their wires. The FCC also created new rules to force cities to put new broadband services up for a vote in a timely matter or have the proposal be automatically approved.

These new rules clear the way for new broadband to roll out. In the past, it took sometimes years of legal work to get rights to poles and getting cities to approve the new internet service. Now under the new rules, this time has been greatly reduced.

This new funding still needs to be voted on but all sings are this is a done deal and the FCC is just going through the required steps to get the funding approved.

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13 Responses to The FCC is Working on Providing $500 Million in Additional Funding For Rural Broadband

  1. Larry Hanson January 17, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    So we are going to spend all this money to wire up these far flung rural locations the same time as 5G is rolling out. Makes a lot of sense to me.

    • Dan January 17, 2018 at 11:04 am #

      I agree for home use, but for large data centers and tech companies, a hardwired source of internet is preferred, if not required. I think one of the goals here is to accommodate the expansion of tech companies to other parts of the country other than just on the coasts.

    • Me January 17, 2018 at 11:27 am #

      If you think wireless companies are deploying 5G to rural areas you are mistaken. Not to mention it’s sure to be expensive and still have low caps compared to wired internet even if they did

      • TechSupport January 17, 2018 at 12:13 pm #

        You don’t understand 5G then. It is cheaper and faster than what you can get with even most cable companies. You will get fiber speeds at DSL prices. It will bring on a slew of competition and if local municipalities and counties help implement it then it can succeed in even rural areas.

    • TechSupport January 17, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

      I was coming on to make the exact comment. Don’t spend ANYTHING. Instead let the free market build out the 5G network or help the industry build it out. There is no doubt 5G is the future and cheapest/quickest path to the future.

    • Cord Cutters News January 17, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

      This money could also be spent to help 5G.

  2. Carl Collie January 17, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    I don’t understand you people you want it both ways, you all have pitch forks out over net neutrality, wanting the government to be involved with business decisions, yet now you all say the private sector should be the ones rolling out internet to the rural pockets of the country. You can’t have it both ways. It makes no business sense at all for these companies to provide a service they will never make money unless it is forced on them to do so, in exchange they get some benefit, tax write-offs, spectrum purchasing, etc.

    • vesalius January 17, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

      It’s all about politics unfortunately. If their chosen candidate is in charge, this would by and large be heralded as a great move. Ideologues and superficial people on both sides the political isle are just intentionally ignorant.

      • Dean G January 18, 2018 at 9:12 am #

        I disagree, politics is used as the blame but it is the fact people are just plain stupid and lazy
        is the real problem. They don’t have the ability to think using reason, facts and realistic expectations. Instead they wait until they’re told what to regurgitate from the tv entertainers.

    • TechSupport January 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

      Net neutrality is a lose lose either way for the consumer. Net neutrality means higher prices by our ISP but no net neutrality means higher prices by the services we use every day like Netflix and Hulu and Amazon and many of the streaming services.

    • Dean G January 18, 2018 at 9:10 am #

      You do realize that one doesn’t go hand in hand with the other? But it’s this mentality of the inability to focus and reason as to why people think we have too many “regulations”. You can have both regulation and free market at the same time, you do realize this right? Enjoy your polluted water though, good thing we got rid of those pesky regulations.

    • Dante Ironheart January 26, 2018 at 2:06 am #

      I don’t think you realize how much of a profit margin ISPs have. Try 95% and that’s after paying their employees.
      As far as I’m concerned it is pure greed. They can pay to put their own lines down that they will be using to get money. If anyone’s trying to get it both ways it’s the corporation

  3. TexMarque January 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

    This proposal makes sense in that to deploy 5G to the most rural areas is going to require a lot of investment in fiber deployment. I imagine that this program would be administered much as the current Connect America II program. Fiber costs ~ $30,000 a mile to install and towers will need to be installed in sparsely populated areas that are expensive to service even at breakeven prices. AT&T has used CA funds to turn up 4G LTE fixed wireless. 5G should be the next evolution of bridging the digital divide.