FCC gives ISPs another $563 million to build rural-broadband networks

FCC gives ISPs another $563 million to build rural-broadband networks

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More than 220,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in 24 states will get broadband access because of funding authorized yesterday by the Federal Communications Commission, the agency said. In all, the FCC authorized more than $563 million for distribution to ISPs over the next decade. It’s the latest payout from the commission’s Connect America Fund, which was created in 2011.

Under program rules, ISPs that receive funding must build out to 40 percent of the required homes and businesses within three years and an additional 20 percent each year until completing the buildout at the end of the sixth year.

The money is being distributed primarily to smaller ISPs in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Verizon, which is getting $18.5

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Ajit Pai-proposed upgrade to 25Mbps starts paying off for rural ISPs

Ajit Pai-proposed upgrade to 25Mbps starts paying off for rural ISPs

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More than 106,000 rural homes and small businesses in 43 US states will get access to 25Mbps broadband at some point in the next decade thanks to a Federal Communications Commission policy change.

The FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF), which distributes money to ISPs in exchange for new broadband deployments in underserved areas, had been requiring speeds of just 10Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream over the past few years. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led a vote in December 2018 to raise the standard for new CAF projects to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up.

While Pai often claims—with no evidence or with incorrect data—that his net neutrality repeal and other deregulatory policies are increasing broadband access, this decision actually will have a modest impact on broadband speeds in some rural areas.

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