News Break: FCC to start rural broadband auction on July 24

BT broadband for homes
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the auction for rural broadband will start on July 24.

The innovative Connect America Fund Phase II auction will provide up to nearly $2 billion over the next decade to expand fixed, high-speed Internet service in unserved rural areas in the US.

March 30 is the deadline for applications to participate.

FCC said nearly 1 million homes and businesses are in unserved rural areas where providers are eligible for support from the auction. Qualified providers will compete for support of up to $1.98 billion over the next decade to offer voice and broadband service in unserved areas where, absent subsidies, there is no business case for expanding or providing service.

The auction is designed to provide broadband service in an efficient, cost-effective way to consumers. The auction is the first reverse multiple-round auction to provide ongoing Connect America Fund support for fixed broadband and voice service in high-cost rural areas.

FCC said the auction will provide opportunities for new entrants, regardless of technology, including rural telco, fixed wireless, satellite, cable, price cap, and electric utility broadband providers.