FCC Commits $18.28 bn to Boost Broadband in 44 States

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized approximately $18.28 billion in Enhanced Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Enhanced A-CAM) support. This financial commitment will span a 15-year period beginning January 1, 2024.
broadband internet connection usersThe FCC’s action comes after it issued a Public Notice today that paves the way for carriers that have accepted the offer of Enhanced A-CAM support. This support is designated for 44 states across the country, with the carriers agreeing to deploy broadband services with a minimum speed of 100/20 Mbps to over 700,000 locations. Furthermore, they commit to maintaining or improving existing 100/20 Mbps service for approximately 2 million locations.

This development follows the FCC’s decision in July 2023 to establish the Enhanced A-CAM program, which is aimed at providing universal service high-cost support to carriers willing to serve consumers with high-speed broadband connections. The program’s focus extends to even the most remote and challenging areas of the United States, addressing the need for connectivity across the country.

The Enhanced A-CAM program modernizes support for rural carriers, offering additional funding in exchange for expanding their reach to more locations at faster speeds. Moreover, it aligns deployment targets with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. This means participating carriers must deploy services to all locations within four years.

As part of this program, carriers will have an opportunity to establish an enforceable commitment to the locations they serve, ensuring that communities receive the high-speed broadband services they need. An initial list of required locations for deployment is included in the Authorization Report released by the FCC today. Any adjustments to these locations will be completed by December 31, 2025.

The FCC has made carrier acceptances publicly available by state to facilitate coordination with other funding programs and avoid any duplication of funding. This multi-billion-dollar commitment represents a significant stride in advancing the accessibility of high-speed internet services, ultimately enhancing connectivity and economic opportunities for millions of Americans.

For more information on the Enhanced A-CAM program and carrier acceptances, please visit https://www.fcc.gov/general/rate-return-resources.

The authorization of these funds underscores the government’s dedication to providing equitable broadband access, ensuring that rural and underserved communities have the resources they need to thrive in the digital age.