Connect America Fund Offers Price Cap Carriers Nearly $1.7 Billion for Rural Broadband

Pete CodellaBroadband

fcc-logo_dark-blueThe FCC recently announced it will offer price cap carriers nearly $1.7 billion to expand and support broadband service in rural areas where market forces alone cannot support deployment.

The funding would provide ongoing support for networks that can deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps uploads to nearly nine million rural residents nationwide.

Carriers will have 120 days to determine whether or not to accept the funding on a state-by-state basis.  In states where carriers decline the offer, the subsidies will be offered to providers on a competitive basis.

Funding in Phase II is targeted to census blocks (a) where the cost of providing service according to the cost model exceeds $52.50 a month, and (b) that are not served by unsubsidized competitors offering service at speeds of at least 4 Mpbs downloads/1 Mbps uploads.  Carriers receiving this support must build out broadband to 40% of funded locations by the end 2017, 60% by end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020.

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