FCC proclaims $1.2 billion fund for broadband deployment in rural areas

The Federal Communications Fee (FCC) has introduced over $1.2 billion in funding by the Rural Digital Alternative Fund to develop broadband service throughout 32 states. The FCC calls this “the biggest funding spherical to this point,” and notes 23 broadband corporations will present service to multiple million new areas.

As well as, the FCC additionally launched the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan, which is able to double the variety of audits and verifications carried out this yr compared to 2021. It should additionally require the FCC to make the outcomes of verifications, audits in addition to velocity and latency assessments public on the Common Service Administration Firm’s (USAC) web site.

“The brand new Rural Broadband Accountability Plan will streamline our audit and verification processes whereas additionally making the outcomes of verifications, audits, and latency testing publicly accessible for the primary time,” FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote on Twitter. “These safeguards will make sure that program suppliers do their jobs.”

The pandemic solely amplified the gaps in connectivity affecting rural America, as workers transitioned to working from residence and youngsters attended class just about. To assist treatment the difficulty, President Joe Biden signed off on a $1 trillion infrastructure package deal in November that allocates $65 billion to offering broadband to each American family. The FCC additionally launched a program that gives cheaper web to low-income households late final yr.

In December 2020, the FCC awarded corporations a complete of $9.2 billion below the Rural Digital Alternative fund, and that included an $886 million subsidy for SpaceX. The Elon Musk-owned firm was purported to deploy its satellite tv for pc web community in rural areas, however final yr, the FCC warned SpaceX and different suppliers to cease misusing these funds to offer service to well-connected areas.

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