Reducing the US’ digital divide remains one of the FCC’s most urgent priorities
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated an additional $67 million per year of funding to aid the expansion of high speed internet services in rural communities across the US.
The extra cash will be available to carriers who currently receive funding through the Connect America Fund’s alternative cost model, known as A-CAM.
The funding is being made available to incentivise carriers to upgrade their legacy network architecture. The additional $67 million per year will help US carriers to provide 100,000 rural customers with access to download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps. Many of those customers are currently only able to achieve speeds of 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.
The FCC said that it was committed to closing America’s digital divide and that improving rural connectivity remained a key priority for the industry regulator.
"Rural Americans deserve services that are comparable to those in urban areas," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai, in an earlier statement to the press.
According to the FCC, as many as 24 million Americans lack access to basic broadband internet services.