Please enter a valid search term.

FCC Authorizes Nearly $112.2 Million in Funding for Rural Broadband

The following is a press release sent out by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on September 12, 2019 
Fifth Round of Funding from Connect America Fund Auction Starts This Month and Includes Nine States

Fcc Logo Generic 300x169WASHINGTON, September 12, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today authorized over $112.2 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to nearly 48,000 unserved rural homes and businesses in nine states, representing the fifth wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month.

“Today, we take another step towards ensuring that all Americans have access to high-speed broadband,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “This fifth round of funding will provide rural Americans from California to Ohio with the economic, educational, civic, and healthcare opportunities that 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 five waves of funding, and today’s action brings total authorized funding to over $1 billion, which will expand connectivity to nearly 388,000 homes and businesses nationwide.  Additional rounds will be authorized in the coming months.

Funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:

  • net, Inc., is receiving over $50.5 million over 10 years to deploy service to 20,859 homes and businesses in California, most of which will get access to service delivering speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream/20 Mbps upstream, using fixed wireless technology

  • A.T.C.H TV is receiving nearly $53.4 million over 10 years to deploy service to 23,957 rural homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, most of which will get access to service delivering speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream/20 Mbps upstream, using fixed wireless technology

  • Four rural phone companies are receiving $1.8 million to offer gigabit-speed fiber service to 536 rural homes and businesses in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

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 Number of Locations
California 100/20 Mbps $50,516,652 20,365
California 25/3 Mbps * 494
Illinois Illinois Fiber Connect 1 Gbps/500 Mbps $310,031 98
Illinois ShawneeLEC 100/20 Mbps $1,714,708 494
Illinois ShawneeLEC 1 Gbps/500 Mbps * 73
Illinois W.A.T.C.H. TV 100/20 Mbps $24,366,144 3,362
Illinois W.A.T.C.H. TV 25/3 Mbps * 2,679
Indiana W.A.T.C.H. TV 100/20 Mbps $14,883,685 9,479
Indiana W.A.T.C.H. TV 25/3 Mbps * 2,058
Iowa Casey Mutual Telephone 1 Gbps/500 Mbps $244,923 107
Minnesota Consolidated Telephone 1 Gbps/500 Mbps $934,934 358
Minnesota Wikstrom Telephone 1 Gbps/500 Mbps $532,557 56
New Mexico Echo Wireless Broadband 25/3 Mbps $1,542,198 624
Ohio W.A.T.C.H. TV 100/20 Mbps $13,121,990 5,736
Ohio W.A.T.C.H. TV 25/3 Mbps * 643
Texas Echo Wireless Broadband 25/3 Mbps $3,933,713 1,093
Wisconsin Wood County Telephone 1 Gbps/500 Mbps $81,920 15
TOTAL     $112,183,454 47,734
* included in company total

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 A map of winning bids is available at

Related Links:
$4.9 billion: These states got the most of the FCC’s funding for broadband expansion

Click here to see the original release on the FCC website.