The FCC initiative is expected to ensure an additional $2 billion investment in rural networks over the next decade.
FCC says the auction seeks to expand service to census blocks unserved by broadband delivering speeds of 10 Mbps downloads / 1 Mbps uploads in 20 states where the price cap carriers declined last year’s Connect America Fund offer.
A minimum performance tier that requires bidders to commit to provide broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream (10/1 Mbps) and offer at least 150 gigabytes (GB) of monthly usage.
A baseline performance tier that requires bidders to commit to provide at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream (25/3 Mbps) and offer a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month, or that reflects the average usage of a majority of fixed broadband customers nationwide, using Measuring Broadband America data or a similar data source, whichever is higher.
An above-baseline performance tier that requires bidders commit to provide at least 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream (100/20 Mbps) and offer an unlimited monthly usage allowance.
A Gigabit performance tier that requires bidders commit to provide at least 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) downstream and 500 Mbps upstream and offer an unlimited monthly usage allowance.
# A $215 million budget for support annually
# Network build-out requirements: 40 percent three years after authorization, 60 percent after four years, 80 percent after five years, and 100 percent by six years
# An application process for auction participants, designed to encourage broad participation from a range of providers
# Reporting requirements that will enable the Commission to monitor the progress of deployment
# A framework for a Remote Areas Fund auction to address those areas that receive no winning bids in this auction
Last year, America’s largest carriers accepted $9 billion over six years from Phase II of the Connect America Fund to expand broadband in their rural service areas. In March, FCC reformed its broadband support for the nation’s smallest carriers, providing $20 billion over the next decade.