Menu
US to vote on sharp increase in broadband subsidies

US to vote on sharp increase in broadband subsidies

New funds target broadband deployment to 5 million US residents, the FCC says

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote Wednesday on a proposal to pump US$1.8 billion into a fund that subsidizes broadband deployments in rural communities.

It would be the second investment for the FCC's Connect America Fund and should bring broadband service to nearly 5 million U.S. residents who don't have coverage now, an FCC official said. The new funding, planned for next year, would amount to a 70 percent increase in subsidies, said the official, speaking on background.

The FCC voted in October 2011 to begin transitioning subsidies for traditional telephone service in its Universal Service Fund to broadband subsidies. To date, the new Connect America Fund has spent $438 million to expand broadband to about 1.6 million U.S. residents and $300 million to expand mobile broadband service. It subsidizes deployments in rural communities and other areas where it would be expensive to build networks.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the phase-two plan Wednesday. The $1.8 billion would be made available to the largest telecom carriers in the U.S., including Verizon Communications, AT&T and CenturyLink. Those carriers would have the option of accepting the subsidy and building out broadband service, or rejecting the money.

If the large carriers reject the subsidy in an area of the country, the FCC would award the subsidy based on a bidding process. The commission on Wednesday will vote on a proposal to approve the details of that bidding process, the official said.

The FCC will also issue a proposal asking for public input on whether the Connect America Fund should increase the minimum download speeds of broadband available to get subsidies. The current minimum is 4Mbps, but the agency will ask whether the minimum should be 10Mbps.

It will also ask for input on whether a second version of its Mobility Fund should target areas of the country that lack 4G LTE service. And it will consider whether to establish a Connect America Fund for the small telecom carriers, the official said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags broadbandregulationtelecommunicationat&tVerizon CommunicationsCenturyLinkU.S. Federal Communications

Brand Post

What to expect from your IT Distributor

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around since before the dot com rollercoaster, choosing the right distribution partner can be a pivotal factor in your success. This definitive guide outlines the traits that every IT partner needs to look for in their IT Distributor.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments