The following press release was issued on October 10, 2019 by the FCC on its website.
WASHINGTON —The Federal Communications Commission today authorized over $61.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to nearly 22,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in 14 states, representing the sixth wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month.
“In states from the Pacific Coast to New England, we’re taking another step toward closing the digital divide,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “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.”
In total, the 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 six waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to nearly $1.2 billion, which will expand connectivity to 409,661 homes and businesses nationwide. Additional rounds will be authorized in the coming months.
Funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:
- Sunset Digital Communications is receiving nearly $29.6 million over 10 years to offer service to nearly 9,100 rural homes and businesses in Virginia and Tennessee at gigabit speeds.
- Three companies – Inventive Wireless, Tri County Telephone, and Union Telephone – are receiving nearly $12.2 million over 10 years to offer service to 4,752 homes and businesses in Wyoming.
- LocalTel Communications is receiving over $6.8 million to offer service to 1,910 homes and businesses in central Washington state.
- Gallatin Wireless Internet is receiving over $4 million to offer service to 1,256 homes and businesses in Montana.
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 Over 10 Years||Locations|
|California||Frontier California||100/20 Mbps||$51,553||23|
|Colorado||Inventive Wireless of Nebraska||25/3 Mbps||$1,505,513||336|
|Iowa||Independent Networks||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$288,834||123|
|Iowa||Maquoketa Valley Rural Electric Cooperative||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$2,262,039||1,107|
|Kansas||Twin Valley Communications||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$45,610||9|
|Louisiana||Allen’s T.V. Cable Service||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$1,776,733||794|
|Massachusetts||CRC Communications||25/3 Mbps||$921,505||772|
|Minnesota||Broadband Corp.||100/20 Mbps||$428,117||128|
|Minnesota||Farmers Mutual Telephone Company||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$217,993||65|
|Montana||Gallatin Wireless Internet||25/3 Mbps||$4,012,941||1,256|
|Nebraska||Inventive Wireless of Nebraska||25/3 Mbps||$678||2|
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma Fiber||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$1,715,314||1,460|
|Tennessee||Sunset Digital Communications||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$5,595,555||2,095|
|Virginia||Sunset Digital Communications||1 Gbps/500 Mbps||$23,979,453||6,998|
|Washington||LocalTel Communications||25/3 Mbps||$6,847,092||1,910|
|Wyoming||Inventive Wireless of Nebraska||25/3 Mbps||$3,734,455||1,354|
|Wyoming||Tri County Telephone Association||1 Gbps/500 Mbps, 25/3 Mbps||$3,004,236||1,930|
|Wyoming||Union Telephone Company||100/20 Mbps, 25/3 Mbps||$5,437,562||1,468|
The Connect America Fund Phase II auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America. On August 1, the FCC proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.
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.
More information on the auction is available at https://www.fcc.gov/auction/903. A map of winning bids is available at https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/caf2-auction903-results/.
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