FCC Authorizes $61.8 Million in Funding for Rural Broadband
The FCC announced it has 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 Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month. The most recent action brings total authorized funding to nearly $1.2 billion, which will expand connectivity to 409,661 homes and businesses nationwide. In total, the auction 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. Additional rounds will be authorized in the coming months.
“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.”
The announcement includes a 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. More information on each award is available here.
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC Authorizes $61.8 Million in Funding for Rural Broadband, FCC Announces Status of Short Form Applicants in Auction 103, NTIA Announces Pilot Broadband Availability Map
FCC Announces Status of Short Form Applicants in Auction 103
The FCC announced the status of 39 short-form applications received for Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin December 10, 2019. The auction will offer Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the Upper 37 GHz (37.6–38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6–40 GHz), and 47 GHz (47.2–48.2 GHz) bands. This Public Notice also provides information regarding the modification and resubmission of short-form applications and reminds applicants of deadlines and certain procedures the Commission adopted for Auction 103.
Each of the 29 short-form applicants whose applications that have been accepted for filing and designated as complete will become a qualified bidder upon receipt by the FCC of the required upfront payment by the October 22, 2019, deadline. Each applicant must maintain the accuracy of its short-form application as required by FCC rules.
Each of the 10 short-form applicants that filed applications that were accepted for filing but found to be incomplete or otherwise deficient will receive a letter identifying each deficiency in its application. This letter will be sent to the contact person at the contact address listed on the application via overnight delivery, along with a copy of this Public Notice. To become a qualified bidder for Auction 103, each applicant must resubmit its application, having corrected any deficiencies, and make the required upfront payment by the October 22, 2019, deadline. Each applicant must also maintain the accuracy of its application as required by FCC rules.
NTIA Announces Pilot Broadband Availability Map
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the release of a pilot version of the new National Broadband Availability Map. The map is a geographic information system platform that allows for the visualization of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. The map will be made available exclusively to state and federal partners, as it includes non-public data that may be business sensitive or have licensing restrictions. The eight pilot states include California, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Utah. These states participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network, and have active broadband plans or programs. As the pilot moves forward, NTIA will test the map’s functionality and expand it to other states, and add data from additional partners, federal agencies, industry and accessible commercial datasets.
NTIA received funding from Congress in 2018 to update the National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) in coordination with the FCC. Congress directed NTIA to acquire and utilize data from available third-party datasets. NTIA built upon existing partnerships with states and local governments to identify data from state, local and tribal governments, and owners and operators of broadband networks, educational institutions, nonprofits and cooperatives to create the map.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.
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