Yesterday 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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