The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday authorized more than $61.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to nearly 22,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in 14 states. This funding marks the sixth wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction.
“This sixth round of funding continues to build on our efforts to provide rural Americans with the economic, educational, civic, and healthcare opportunities that high-speed Internet access makes possible,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement.
The agency’s action brings total authorized funding to nearly $1.2 billion, which will expand connectivity to 409,661 homes and businesses nationwide. In another attempt to close the rural digital divide, the FCC proposed in August Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.
NextLink, with CAF grant, expands coverage into more midwestern states
NextLink Internet of Hudson Oaks, Texas, announced last week its acquisition of Connecting Point, an internet service business based in Nebraska. NextLink plans to use the ConPoint network and workforce as its platform to expand in Nebraska.
“ConPoint is a great fit with Nextlink in terms of the breadth of its service territory, its dedication to customer service, and overall cultural fit between the organizations,” said NextLink CEO Bill Baker.
“We will begin work immediately to expand that service area and upgrade the existing networks so that customers can access more advanced applications such as video conferencing and streaming,” Baker said.
In 2018, Nextlink won a bid for $281 million in support over 10 years from the FCC's CAF, which will help the company deploy broadband services to more than 100,000 homes and businesses across the six states. ConPoint President Dan Spray said that the two companies are excited about the benefits their customers will receive from the expansion of their networks.
“The combination of Nextlink’s expertise and federal dollars will be great for our state and our local communities,” he said.
Connected Nation aims to focus on addressing digital divide in Ohio
Connected Nation Ohio announced on Wednesday that it will be using community input to identify and assist areas that lack access to affordable, high-speed internet.
According to CN Ohio, nearly 2.4 million Ohio households do not have high-speed internet service or have only one choice of internet provider. Only 76 percent of Appalachian Ohioans have access to 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload speeds and 300,000 rural Ohio households have no access to broadband.
Eric Frederick, vice president of Community Affairs at Connected Nation, said that they are laser-focused on identifying exactly where the digital divide sits in Ohio and how to close it.
“Ohio has not released maps that identify broadband availability and speeds since 2017,” he said. “That’s a huge gap in research, especially when you consider how quickly the technology is evolving. That’s why we invite all Ohioans to visit our website and join the conversation by providing both feedback and input on the state of broadband in your area.”
Reaching full broadband coverage in Ohio would generate an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion and up to $6.6 billion in economic benefits over the next 15 years. Connected Nation’s surveys are part of the nonprofit’s new phase in its mapping, technical assistance, and analysis for the state.
- Online Speech Has Harmful Effects on Both Individuals and Society, According to Mary Anne Franks
- Pandemic Has Created an Environment for Consumer Fraud, Say Congressional Leaders
- Breakfast Media Minute: July 10, 2020
- Metrics and Automation Can Improve Federal Cybersecurity Measures
- Federal Communications Commission Must Reconsider Ligado Offer, Says Former Commissioner
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Fiber1 month ago
Fiber Networks Hold a Cybersecurity Advantage Over Rival Co-Axial and Wireless Technologies, Say Panelists
Artificial Intelligence3 weeks ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial Intelligence2 weeks ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Congress1 month ago
Partisan Disagreement Delays Broadband Funding That Might Come Through HEROES Act
Broadband Roundup2 weeks ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
#broadbandlive4 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 – Federal Broadband Funds and Opportunity Zones
Expert Opinion1 month ago
Gary Bolton: Under the Stress of COVID-19, the Networks That Held Fast Were Symmetrical Fiber Broadband
Education2 weeks ago
A Mix of Resources and Technologies Are Needed to Close the Homework Gap