Broadband service providers should begin receiving funding later this month to increase internet connectivity in over 100,000 rural homes and businesses across nine states. The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday authorized more than $240 million in funding over the next decade to expand rural broadband deployment in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the authorization “another important step” in the Commission’s efforts to connect rural Americans with economic, health care, and educational opportunities. The FCC has now authorized nine waves of funding which comes from the 2018 Connect America Fund Phase II Auction. The auction is part of the FCC’s reform and modernization of its universal service support programs. As part of the criteria, providers must build broadband infrastructure to 40% of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years of receiving funds. That construction must increase by 20% in each subsequent year until complete build out is reached at the end of the sixth year. Last week’s funding announcement brings total authorized funding to over $1.4 billion, expanding connectivity to 627,097 homes and businesses across America. Funding opportunities will continue until the authorization process is complete.
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