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Broadband Roundup: FCC Announces More Rural Funding, Everyone On Expands Footprint, US Telecom Gets Political

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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Photo from Everyone On

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced that it had authorized $112.2 million in funding over ten years to expand broadband to nearly 48,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in nine states.

This is the fifth wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later in September.

“Today, we take another step towards ensuring that all Americans have access to high-speed broadband,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This fifth round of funding will provide rural Americans from California to Ohio with the economic, educational, civic, and healthcare opportunities that Internet access makes possible.”

In total, the auction last year allocated $1.488 billion in support over the next ten years to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses nationwide. The FCC has now authorized five waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to more than $1 billion, which will expand connectivity to nearly 388,000 homes and businesses nationwide.

Funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:

  • net, Inc., is receiving over $50.5 million over 10 years to deploy service to 20,859 homes and businesses in California, most of which will get access to service delivering speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream/20 Mbps upstream, using fixed wireless technology
  • A.T.C.H TV is receiving nearly $53.4 million over 10 years to deploy service to 23,957 rural homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, most of which will get access to service delivering speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream/20 Mbps upstream, using fixed wireless technology
  • Four rural phone companies are receiving $1.8 million to offer gigabit-speed fiber service to 536 rural homes and businesses in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

More information on the auction is available at https://www.fcc.gov/auction/903. A map of winning bids is available at https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/caf2-auction903-results/.

Everyone On announces 13 new public housing agencies for its digital connectivity initiative

Everyone On, a non-profit promoting digital inclusion, this week announced that it had selected its third new cohort of public housing authorities as part of ConnectHomeUSA, a cross-sector initiative seeking to help spur the adoption of broadband in public housing.

The 13 sites were selected as part of a competitive application process, and now form a total of 87 participating housing authorities.

“High-speed internet service, computers, and digital skills have become the building blocks for educational and economic mobility,” said Norma Fernandez, chief executive officer of EveryoneOn.

“These PHAs will play a critical role in helping drive digital inclusion and equity in their communities. We look forward to working with them, and continuing our collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

The agencies including housing authorities in Annapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Madison, St. Louis, plus Bakersfield, Calif., Chesapeake, Va., Englewood, Colo., Jacksonville, Fla., Portsmith, Va., Shawnee, Okla., Shreveport, La., and Yonkers, N.Y.

Ahead of the third Democratic Party debate, the US Telecom gets political

The industry trade group US Telecom on Thursday released a new 2020 election initiative called “The Connected Candidate: Roadmap to a Connected America.”

As Democratic candidates gather for another debate, the trade group attempts to make the case that alongside healthcare, trade and immigration, pro-investment, pro-innovation American broadband policy must be front and center this election cycle.

“Broadband touches every part of our lives and every issue central to the future of our country,” reads the report.

“From jobs and economic growth to health care, education and national security, every great idea candidates have for the future of this nation is connected to the power of broadband. As voters look to 2020, our nation needs leaders who have a plan to ensure broadband reaches all communities and lifts our nation’s economy, competitiveness and security.”

The project also outlines a roadmap to be considered a ‘Connected Candidate,’ including a commitment to wired infrastructure, job and economic growth, workforce training, and modern national frameworks for privacy, net neutrality, innovation, cybersecurity and illegal robocall policies.

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