facebook linkedin twitter

FCC Announces $554 Million Broadband Opportunity Fund Program

October 21, 2021 by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission announced on Wednesday it is set to approve a total of $554,150,641 for the third round of funding in deployments of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

The FCC previously announced over $1 billion in funding to winning bidders for new deployments throughout the past two waves of funding under the program. In this round of funding, 11 broadband providers will be allowed to establish broadband service to over 180,000 locations across 19 states, according to an FCC release.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund was created after the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking in Aug. 2019 that proposed the $20.4 billion fund to assist small businesses and rural homes in acquiring reliable broadband service.

“This is good news for consumers waiting far too long for broadband in parts of the country that have yet to be served,” Acting FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a written statement.  “Broadband is an essential service and during the pandemic we’ve seen just how critical it is for families, schools, hospitals, and businesses to have affordable internet access.”

Rosenworcel continued, “Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated FCC staff who are carefully reviewing applications and working to clean up the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, this program will build new broadband infrastructure in areas that truly need it.”

In addition to conducting comprehensive reviews of the winning bidders, the FCC issued letters to certain applicants “concerning areas where there was evidence of existing service or questions of waste,” denied waivers to bidders that have yet to make “appropriate efforts to secure state approvals or prosecute their applications,” and disseminating a list of areas where providers had defaulted, “thereby making those places available for other broadband funding opportunities.”

The states pegged for the latest batch of funding are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

In June, TWN reported the Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats circulated a letter pressing House leadership to ensure rural broadband inequities were addressed in upcoming infrastructure legislation. In the letter, the Blue Dogs called for underserved and unserved communities to be prioritized in the implementation of rural broadband infrastructure.

“We were encouraged to see the Biden-Harris Administration recognize the importance of targeting unserved and underserved areas for broadband infrastructure funds under the American Rescue Plan,” coalition members wrote in the letter. “We hope that the upcoming infrastructure package will build on that success and that improved data collection can better target broadband investments in unserved and underserved communities. In our districts, we have seen firsthand how a continued lack of access to reliable high-speed internet created an insurmountable obstacle to success for rural residents that has been compounded by the COVID-19 crisis.” 

A+
a-

In The News

December 2, 2021
by Reece Nations
Stacey Abrams Announces Georgia Gubernatorial Campaign

ATLANTA — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams announced on Wednesday she will again run for governor in 2022. Abrams previously sought... Read More

ATLANTA — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams announced on Wednesday she will again run for governor in 2022. Abrams previously sought to become Georgia’s first Black female governor in 2018 when she lost to current Gov. Brian Kemp. That election came down to the wire but Abrams... Read More

December 1, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Supreme Court Case Hints at Change In Federal Agency Regulation Decisions

WASHINGTON — Conservative judges on the Supreme Court suggested this week during arguments in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit over Medicare drug... Read More

WASHINGTON — Conservative judges on the Supreme Court suggested this week during arguments in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit over Medicare drug reimbursement that now might be the time to overturn a decades-old guiding principle of administrative law. The issue in American Hospital Association v. Becerra is a... Read More

Justices Signal They'll OK New Abortion Limits, May Toss Roe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Wednesday signaled it would uphold Mississippi's 15-week ban on abortion and... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Wednesday signaled it would uphold Mississippi's 15-week ban on abortion and may go much further to overturn the nationwide right to abortion that has existed for nearly 50 years. The fate of the court’s historic 1973 Roe... Read More

December 1, 2021
by Reece Nations
Paid Leave Advocates Say Bipartisan Path not Feasible

WASHINGTON — Advocates for the passage of paid family and medical leave into law are pushing the policy as a... Read More

WASHINGTON — Advocates for the passage of paid family and medical leave into law are pushing the policy as a solution to what could be a difficult 2022 midterm election for Democrats. Provisions for paid leave were included in the Build Back Better framework that passed... Read More

December 1, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
White House to Release Plan for Fighting COVID-19 Variants

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said he will unveil plans this week on how his administration will work to slow... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said he will unveil plans this week on how his administration will work to slow the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, known as omicron, which emerged in South Africa and has been classified by the World Health Organization as a... Read More

Abortion Rights at Stake in Historic Supreme Court Arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Abortion rights are on the line at the Supreme Court in historic arguments over the landmark ruling nearly 50... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Abortion rights are on the line at the Supreme Court in historic arguments over the landmark ruling nearly 50 years ago that declared a nationwide right to end a pregnancy. The justices on Wednesday will weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top