FCC authorizes $524 million in funding to expand broadband

The FCC has authorized over $524 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 205,520 unserved rural homes and businesses in 23 states.
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The funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:

AMG Technology Investment Group is receiving $281.3 million to deploy service to nearly 100,700 homes and businesses in rural Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Crystal Automation Systems is receiving $27.2 million to deploy service to 17,610 homes and businesses in rural Michigan.

RiverStreet Communications of Virginia is receiving $32.1 million to deploy service to 13,518 homes and businesses in rural Virginia.

California Internet is receiving $87.8 million to deploy service to 11,845 rural California and Nevada homes and businesses.

In total, the auction last fall allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years. The FCC has already authorized two waves of funding in May and June, and funds from those first two waves are expanding connectivity to nearly 100,000 homes and businesses.

FCC said today’s action brings total authorized funding to nearly $803 million, or over half of the $1.488 billion allocated through the auction, expanding connectivity to 305,518 homes and businesses.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said:  “Today’s authorization of funding is the largest yet from the auction, nearly the double the amount authorized in the first two rounds nationwide, and serving over twice as many rural homes and businesses.”

Chairman Pai recently proposed that the FCC launch a new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would provide at least $20.4 billion over 10 years to expand broadband to additional rural areas

If approved, this Fund would represent the FCC’s single biggest step yet to close the digital divide. The FCC is scheduled to vote on launching a rulemaking to establish the Fund on August 1.