New: March Intermedia now available – see more
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas. It says the proposal “would raise the bar” for rural broadband deployment by making more areas eligible for support and requiring faster service than last year’s Connect America Fund (CAF) phase II reverse auction. “If the FCC ultimately approves these proposals, millions more rural homes and small businesses would be connected to high-speed broadband networks providing up to gigabit speeds.”
The FCC is seeking comment on continuing the expansion of broadband where it’s lacking by using a reverse auction that builds on last year’s CAF phase II auction. The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund would focus on areas currently served by “price cap” carriers, along with areas that were not won in the CAF phase II auction and other areas that do not currently receive any high-cost universal service support.
The proposal includes raising the standard for broadband deployment from the CAF’s 10 Mbps/1 Mbps minimum to at least 25 Mbps/3 Mbps, with incentives for faster speeds. FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, noted a parallel with building the nation’s electricity infrastructure, and said: “We need to begin with where infrastructure is and is not. We need to start with data. We need to develop maps. Of course, right now the FCC has broadband maps from operators. That’s good for starters. But we need to do a whole lot better. Our maps need to be more granular. Then, they need to be verified. I want us to test what we have here in Washington with spot checks in the field, challenges from local authorities, and data from consumer crowdsourcing. This mapping effort is not going to be simple, but it’s vitally important. After all, we will never manage what we do not measure.”
Meanwhile a municipal broadband service in Fort Collins, Colorado went live for new customers today, less than 2 years after the city’s voters approved the network despite a cable industry-led campaign against it. More here and Fort Collins here.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.
We give innovators and regulators a forum in which to explore, debate and agree the best policies and regulatory frameworks for widest societal benefit.
Insight: Exchange: Influence
We give members a voice through conferences, symposiums and private meetings, as well as broad exposure of their differing viewpoints through articles, reports and interviews.
The new website will make it easier for you to gather fresh insights, exchange views with others and have a voice in the debateTake a look Learn more about our updates
You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The International Institute of Communications website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:Windows
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.