Friday, May 11, 2012

FCC sets $300 million fund to get broadband into rural areas within two years

Let there be broadband. This week, the Federal Communications Commission set up a $300 million Universal Service Mobility Fund. Its sole purpose is to speed up the process by which experienced private sector wireless companies get into rural communities to begin offering wireless service.

Nicole Payola Wood reports for the Daily Yonder that the FCC is going to run "reverse auctions," in which the low-bidder in certain communities will receive government funds for setting up service, thus defraying some of the extra expense of serving remote communities. The bidding period opens next month. Wood writes that winning bidders will have to get service up and running within two years for installing 3G service and three years for the more advanced 4G services that wireless companies offer in most urban areas.

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