Connect America Fund Auction To Expand Broadband To Over 700,000 Rural Homes And Businesses

FCC Press Release

Auction Allocates $1.488 Billion To Close the Digital Divide

WASHINGTON, August 28, 2018—Over 700,000 rural homes and small businesses will gain access to high-speed Internet service for the first time through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction, auction results released today show, and more than half of those 713,176 locations will have service available with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.

The auction allocated $1.488 billion in support to be distributed over the next 10 years to expand rural broadband service in unserved areas in 45 states. A total of 103 providers won support from the Connect America Fund to expand broadband in rural areas where, absent this funding, this type of broadband expansion and ongoing service would not be economically feasible.

“The successful conclusion of this first-of-its kind auction is great news for the residents of these rural communities, who will finally be able to share in the 21st-century digital opportunities that broadband provides,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “By tapping the mechanisms of the marketplace, the Phase II auction served as the most appropriate and cost-effective way to allocate funding for broadband in these unserved communities, bringing the highest-quality broadband services to the most consumers at the lowest cost to the ratepayer.”

[. . .]
As a result, 53% of all homes and businesses served with support from the auction will have broadband available with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second. 19% will have gigabit service available. And 711,389 locations—all but 0.25%—will have at least 25 Mbps service available, more than twice the 10 Mbps minimum standard for the Connect America Fund program.

[. . .]

Providers must build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in a state within three years of becoming authorized to receive support. Buildout must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reach at the end of the sixth year.

[. . .]

More information is available HERE. A map of winning bids is available at HERE

California winners:

  • Cal.net, $5,051,665.17 serving 20,859 locations.
  • California Internet, $8,262,901.78 serving 10,922 locations.
  • Frontier Communications Corporation, $5,155.26 serving 23 locations.
  • Hankins Information Technology, $191,132.93 serving 1083 locations.
  • Viasat, Inc., $1,391,836.18 serving 18,795 locations.

California total win was $14,902,691.32 serving a total of 51,682 locations, with 40% build-out anticipated.

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