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FCC Authorizes Nearly $89.2 Million In Funding For Rural Broadband


Eighth Round of Funding from Connect America Fund Auction

Starts This Month and Includes 21 States 

December 16, 2019

The Federal Communications Commission authorized nearly $89.2 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to more than 123,000 unserved rural homes and businesses across 21 states, representing the eighth wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month.

“Across the nation, we’re continuing to close the digital divide so that all Americans—no matter where they live—have access to affordable broadband connectivity and the digital opportunity it brings,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “And as this eighth round of funding demonstrates, the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction is doing so in a cost-effective way:  Because providers competed for Connect America Fund Auction support, finite universal service dollars reached many more homes and businesses at a much lower cost.”

Among the companies approved for funding by the Commission today is satellite provider Viasat, which is receiving $87.1 million over 10 years to offer service to more than 121,700 remote and rural homes and businesses in 17 states, at speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps.  In return for this funding, Viasat will be providing service in the supported areas at lower cost to consumers, while also permitting higher usage allowances, than it typically provides in areas where it is not receiving Connect America Fund support.

Below is a complete list by state of the companies receiving support, the number of homes and businesses served (locations), the amount of support over 10 years, and the minimum download/upload speeds to be provided:

 

State

Company             

Minimum Speed

Support/10 Years

Locations

Alabama

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$3,692,935

9,075

Arizona

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$129,559

354

California

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$13,918,362

18,795

Colorado

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$7,231,181

6,517

Florida

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$5,032,841

9,859

Georgia

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$6,264,362

13,815

Idaho

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$4,402,040

3,607

Illinois

LTD Broadband

25/3 Mbps

$19,462

145

Iowa

LTD Broadband

25/3 Mbps

$69,516

33

Kentucky

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$1,673,145

4,169

Louisiana

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$2,873,230

4,427

Maine

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$4,713,986

4,098

Minnesota

LTD Broadband

25/3 Mbps

$1,104,441

840

Montana

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$5,180,536

5,342

New Mexico

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$3,132,667

3,268

South Carolina

Horry Telephone Cooperative

25/3 Mbps

$233,490

80

Utah

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$3,119,687

2,995

Washington

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$7,031,864

10,982

West Virginia

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$5,432,056

7,057

Wisconsin

Bruce Telephone Company

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

$177,933

34

Wisconsin

JCWIFI.com

25/3 Mbps

$486,424

175

Wisconsin

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$3,963,228

7,565

Wyoming

Viasat

25/3 Mbps

$9,301,915

9,805

Total

 

 

$89,184,858

123,037

 

In total, the Connect America Fund 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 eight waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to nearly $1.2 billion, which is expanding connectivity to 541,733 homes and businesses nationwide.  Funding rounds will continue until the authorization process is complete. 

Providers must build out to 40% of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years.  Buildout must increase by 20% in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year. 

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