FCC Authorizes Second Wave of Rural Broadband Funding from Connect America Fund Auction

 

 

 

 

  • Connect America Fund (CAF)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

WASHINGTON — The FCC authorized $166.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses in 22 states, representing the second wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Providers will begin receiving funding this month.

In total, the auction last fall allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years.  The FCC authorized the first wave of funding in May, providing $111.6 million in funding over the next decade to expand service to 37,148 unserved homes and businesses in 12 states.

To date, the first two rounds of authorizations are providing $278.4 million over the next decade to expand service to 97,998 new locations.  Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

“I’m pleased to announce that the second round of funding starts now for buildout of high-speed internet service to 60,850 rural homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband offers,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time.”

The funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:

  • Central Virginia Services, an electric coop, is receiving $28.6 million to deploy gigabit connections to nearly 11,000 locations in rural Virginia
  • NTUA Wireless is receiving $28.4 million to serve over 7,000 homes and small businesses in Tribal areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, while SW DinehNet will serve 869 Tribal locations in New Mexico
  • Co-Mo Comm, an electric coop, is receiving nearly $22 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 8,350 rural locations in Missouri
  • Commnet of Nevada is receiving $23.6 million to provide service to over 12,800 homes and businesses in 11 counties in rural Nevada

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

Locations

Support /

10 Years

Arizona

NTUA Wireless

25/3 Mbps

4,959

$21,262,510

Arkansas

Next, Powered by NAEC

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

6,582

$22,600,026

Delaware

Verizon Delaware

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

22

$148,090

Illinois

Illinois Electric Cooperative

100/20 Mbps

804

$2,276,419

Iowa

Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

191

$627,920

Kansas

IdeaTek Telcom

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

2,490

$6,186,882

Maryland

Verizon Maryland

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

1,194

$3,058,921

Massachusetts

Verizon New England

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

305

$948,305

Michigan

Great Lakes Energy Connections

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

357

$1,043,543

Minnesota

Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

315

$1,313,543

Minnesota

Garden Valley Telephone Company

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

95

$880,346

Minnesota

West Central Telephone Association

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

532

$611,934

Minnesota

Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

209

$552,330

Missouri

Co-Mo Comm

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

8,356

$21,968,964

Missouri

Callabyte Technology

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

1,485

$2,174,192

Nevada

Commnet of Nevada

25/3 Mbps

12,844

$23,669,837

New Jersey

Verizon New Jersey

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

510

$1,621,782

New Mexico

NTUA Wireless

25/3 Mbps

1,476

$4,612,929

New Mexico

SW DinehNet

25/3 Mbps

869

$2,038,738

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Western Telephone Company

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

573

$2,303,928

Oregon

Douglas Service

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

533

$3,475,834

Pennsylvania

Verizon Pennsylvania

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

699

$1,672,629

Pennsylvania

Verizon North

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

10

$14,654

Rhode Island

Verizon New England

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

165

$475,303

Tennessee

Meriwether Lewis Connect

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

290

$1,183,627

Tennessee

HolstonConnect

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

517

$535,417

Utah

NTUA Wireless

25/3 Mbps

606

$2,566,538

Virginia

Central Virginia Services

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

10,827

$28,602,957

Virginia

BARConnects

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

1,734

$4,974,237

Virginia

EMPOWER Broadband, Inc.

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

838

$1,868,320

Virginia

Verizon Virginia

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

421

$1,399,211

Virginia

Verizon South

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

35

$138,038

West Virginia

Hardy Telecommunications

1 Gbps/500 Mbps

7

$47,435

Total

   

60,850

$166,855,339

 

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.

The Connect America Fund Phase II auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America.  In addition to the funding that will be made available through this auction, the Commission recently provided 186 companies in 43 states $65.7 million in additional annual funding to upgrade broadband speeds in rural communities, and offered incentives for over 500 rural carriers to provide faster broadband to over 1 million rural homes and businesses.  Chairman Pai also announced his intention to create the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will provide $20.4 billion over the next decade to connect approximately four million rural homes and businesses to high-speed broadband, representing the FCC’s single biggest step yet to close the digital divide.

More information is available 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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