Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FCC Officially Launches "Connect America" Fund

The first phase of the FCC's "Connect America Fund" is underway with about $115 million in public funding being allocated to bring broadband to nearly 400,000 residents and small business owners in 37 states.


Many projects are now receiving funding and are expected to begin immediately/ All projects must be completed within three years.


The FCC estimates that nearly 19 million residents currently lack access to broadband.


"I'm pleased to announce today that nearly 400,000 residents and businesses in rural communities who currently lack access to high-speed Internet will gain access within the next three years," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

  • The Connect America Fund has the following mission: (1) preserve and advance universal availability of voice service; (2) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing voice and broadband service to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions; (3) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing advanced mobile voice and broadband service; (4) ensure that rates for broadband services and rates for voice services are reasonably comparable in all regions of the nation; and (5) minimize the universal service contribution burden on consumers and businesses.


    CAF will eventually replace all of the existing high-cost support mechanisms. The annual funding target is set at no more than $4.5 billion over the next six years. The goal is to help make broadband available to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions in areas that do not, or would not otherwise, have broadband, including mobile voice and broadband networks in areas that do not, or would not otherwise, have mobile service, and broadband in the most remote areas of the nation. The CAF plans to adopt incentive-based, market-driven policies, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service funds more efficiently than previously.
http://www.fcc.gov

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