The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lays out plans for the next phase of funding for rural broadband deployments in the US.
The FCC has announced that over $640 million of funding will be made available through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The investment will be used for new broadband deployments in 26 states and will cover nearly 250,000 locations.
The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund has already provided $4.7 billion for deployments in 47 states covering approximately 2.7 million locations. This funding has been allocated to an estimated 300 regional service providers.
The FCC’s Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, commented: “[This] funding will help connect hundreds of thousands of Americans to high-speed, broadband internet service. As we approve this funding, we remain committed to making sure that this program serves areas that truly need broadband and funds carriers that can do the job, and our new Rural Broadband Accountability Plan will ensure just that.”
Tackling the rural digital divide in the US is a key focus for the FCC under Chairwoman Rosenworcel. Earlier this year, the FCC established the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan (RBAP) in a bid to monitor compliance more effectively for universal service programmes such as the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The RBAP made a series of changes and improvements to the FCC’s existing audit and verification procedures.