FCC pledges $166.8m to expand rural broadband coverage

12 June 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorised $166.8 million in funding for the expansion of broadband to 60,850 rural homes and businesses in 22 states.

The funds will be allocated over the next ten years and will support last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction; providers will start to receive funds at the end of June.

“I’m pleased to announce that the second round of funding starts now for buildout of high-speed Internet service to 60,850 rural homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband offers,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai (pictured). “Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorised today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time.”

The first wave of funding was authorised in May issuing $111.6 million in funding over the next ten years to expand service to 37,148 unserved homes and businesses in 12 states. In addition, the auction which took place in autumn 2018 allocated $1.488 billion to support the expansion of broadband to more than 700,000 rural homes and small businesses.

So far, the first two rounds of authorisations will provide $278.4 million over the next decade to expand service to 97,998 new locations. Additionally, over the coming months, the FCC will authorise additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

The complete list of companies receiving support are:

State

Company

New Jersey

Verizon New Jersey

Arizona

NTUA Wireless

New Mexico

NTUA Wireless

Arkansas

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New Mexico

SW DinehNet

Delaware

Verizon Delaware

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Western Telephone Company

Illinois

Illinois Electric Cooperative

Oregon

Douglas Service

Iowa

Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa

Pennsylvania

Verizon Pennsylvania

Kansas

IdeaTek Telcom

Pennsylvania

Verizon North

Maryland

Verizon Maryland

Rhode Island

Verizon New England

Massachusetts

Verizon New England

Tennessee

Meriwether Lewis Connect

Michigan

Great Lakes Energy Connections

Tennessee

HolstonConnect

Minnesota

Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative

Utah

NTUA Wireless

Minnesota

Garden Valley Telephone Company

Virginia

Central Virginia Services

Minnesota

West Central Telephone Association

Virginia

BARConnects

Minnesota

Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative

Virginia

EMPOWER Broadband, Inc.

Missouri

Co-Mo Comm

Virginia

Verizon Virginia

Missouri

Callabyte Technology

Virginia

Verizon South

Nevada

Commnet of Nevada

West Virginia

Hardy Telecommunications

Providers must build out to 40% of its assigned homes and within three years and buildout must increase by 20% in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.