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The FCC Just Awarded $61 Million to Help Expand High-Speed Internet to Rural Americans

Image of happy woman using laptop while sitting at cafe. Young african american woman sitting in a coffee shop and working on laptop.Today the FCC announced that it has awarded over $61 million in new funding to help bring high-speed Internet to rural Americans. This award will help expand Internet to rural Americans in Washington, Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, Montana, Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kansas.

Funding for this initiative comes from the Universal Service Fund. This fund was made to promote access to phone services in underserved areas and is now being used to bring Internet access to those same areas.

Here are some previous announcements on how that money will be spent:

June 2019: $166.8 million

“Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time,” the FCC chairman said of this financial commitment.

July 2019: 563.2 million

“High-speed Internet provides access to opportunity in the 21st century, and the FCC’s top priority is closing the digital divide so that all Americans can fully participate in our connected society,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai about this round of funding in partnership with New York State’s Broadband Program.

“Closing the digital divide is the FCC’s top priority, and I’m proud that this partnership will provide many rural New Yorkers with access to the opportunities that high-speed Internet offers.”

August 2019: $137.2 million

With the announcement of this investment, the FCC detailed where the money would be allocated. Recipients of funding included Northern Arapaho Tribal Industries, Tri-Co Connections, Midcontinent Communications, Citynet West Virginia, Armstrong Telecommunications, DTC Cable, and Haefele. Each recipient would receive the money to spend on bringing Internet access to rural and underserved locations.

August 2019: $4.9 billion

The largest investment in this push for rural Internet access was made to bring broadband to Tribal lands over the next decade. Part of this push will bring high-speed internet to 44,243 homes and businesses on Tribal Lands nationwide.

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