FCC OKs $11 Million for Rural Broadband

Four projects intended to provide broadband service to 15,000 consumers living in rural areas have been authorized for funding from the FCC's ...

The FCC has revamped its rules for the Connect America Fund and its E-rate program.
The FCC has revamped its rules for the Connect America Fund and its E-rate program.
Four projects intended to provide broadband service to 15,000 consumers living in rural areas have been authorized for funding from the FCC's Rural Broadband Experiment program.

The $11.2 million awarded is intended to fund projects in five states over 10 years. In addition to providing service, the projects are intended to explore cost-effective ways of expanding broadband service in rural areas. The Rural Broadband Experiments program was adopted in 2014 to test on a limited scale the use of competitive bidding to award funding from the Connect America Fund.

The authorized projects, which must be 85% built out in three years and 100% in five years, include the following:

  • Skybeam will receive $4.48 million to extend fixed wireless service to 6,647 homes and businesses at 25 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream, over a network capable of delivering service at 100 Mbps downstream and 25 Mbps upstream. Locations to be served include portions of Illinois, Kansas and Texas.
  • Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative will receive $1.5 million to extend service at speeds of 10/1 to 665 homes and small businesses in Fayette County, IA, over a hybrid fiber/fixed wireless network.
  • Consolidated Communications Networks will receive $3 million to extend broadband service over a fiber network to 171 homes and businesses in portions of Stark County, ND.
  • Delta Communications will receive $2.2 million to extend broadband service to 122 homes and businesses over fiber networks in portions of Illinois.
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