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FCC approves $137 million in funding for rural broadband connectivity

By Polycount · 14 replies
Aug 12, 2019 at 4:06 PM
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  1. Today, the FCC approved $121 million in funding to boost the rollout of rural broadband connectivity. In theory, this funding should bring serviceable internet speeds to roughly 36,579 homes and business across 16 US states.

    This expansion won't happen overnight, though. In fact, the timeline for this project is fairly long: the funding will be handed out over the next decade.

    According to the FCC, this is the "fourth wave" of funding that has been authorized on the back of the Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Internet providers could begin to receive early portions of this cash as soon as this month.

    The FCC says it has already authorized over $924 million in funding for broadband connectivity. In total, the organization plans to approve $1.488 billion, which could connect a dizzying 700,000 unserved or underserved rural homes and small businesses.

    If you're wondering where the rest of the $137 million is going (we've only mentioned $121 million so far), Engadget reports that the FCC "separately greenlit" an additional $16 million for the purpose of bringing high-speed internet to about 8,000 rural New York-based businesses and homes.

    Only time will tell whether or not the FCC and American ISPs can deliver on these lofty promises and goals.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,524   +3,085

    Now you can chip and track online every cow in the country.

    P.S. Is Internet trying to convince us that this guy's name is FCC?
    Black Paper and wiyosaya like this.
  3. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,826   +402

    Wait, you mean his name ISN'T FCC?

    Black Paper, wiyosaya and VitalyT like this.
  4. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 544   +268

    Is that even close to enough money to provide web access to these rural people?
  5. ThrakazogZ

    ThrakazogZ TS Enthusiast Posts: 22   +31

    Wait a second. I thought repealing net neutrality was going to spur growth, and allow ISP's to bring internet to rural areas. No wait....I'm pretty sure allowing them to buy out competitors was going to allow them to bring high speed internet to everyone. No....no....hang on.......I'm pretty sure giving the ISP's huge tax breaks would allow them to fund high speed internet infrastructure to rural areas..........wait....wait.......it was blocking cities and towns from providing low cost high speed internet that was going to finally allow ISP's to bring high speed internet to rural areas.....no....wait...............
    Latiron, yRaz, RaXoR and 6 others like this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,118   +2,406

    I hope they plan on keeping tabs on the money to ensure that it is actually spent on bringing broadband service to rural America and not just for the bonuses of the ISP execs and kickbacks to Pai.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,118   +2,406

    I'll be looking forward to it. It will be the best thing to hit fakebook ever! :laughing:
    Black Paper likes this.
  8. lumbeeman

    lumbeeman TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +24

    Not even close, I worked for one of the major cable companies for over 15 years and it is a drop in the bucket, a very small drop. They say boost but it is not much of one at all.
  9. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 882   +379

    137 million for 37,000 homes seems pretty doable, the ISP's still have to invest some of there own but it makes the line laying less painful and ROI should be a lot faster. This should be some pretty isolated places in the midwest and northwest (which also explains the timeline) I saw a lot of the early money being used in my area, a lot of rural fiber was getting laid down in the last 5 years people going from 1-5mbps to 20mbps and having the options soon for 40mbps (they have some higher tier stuff to work out).
  10. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 153   +115

    Well, this money will not make it anywhere near as far as they claim it will. Maybe a small portion will go towards expansion. Just enough to report back that there has been some progress made. However, the rest will definitely be pocketed. These companies already charge an arm and a leg for broadband service, they have more than enough funds to expand the infrastructure without the need for government aid.
  11. Black Paper

    Black Paper TS Member Posts: 25   +19

    Weren't they already paid to do this with the Telecommunications act of 1996?
    They have already been paid to do this and failed to deliver.
    I'm going to paraphrase/plagiarize Wendell from Level1Techs on this.

    Time has only proven that the FCC will continue to shovel more tax-payer money into the bottomless pit of the unaccountable, act-breaking American ISPs for "lofty promises and goals" that were promised to the American populous, whom has already footed the bill in 1996.
    Latiron, lumbeeman and wiyosaya like this.
  12. Black Paper

    Black Paper TS Member Posts: 25   +19

    If the FCC truly wants to expand broadband connectivity for rural areas, they would allow local municipal competition, nullify One Touch Make Ready ordinances, and switch back to something similar to the 'Dial-up' model.
    Not dump money to companies who will use that money to buy their competition.
    Latiron, wiyosaya and lumbeeman like this.
  13. Nocturne

    Nocturne TS Maniac Posts: 201   +102

    I think you basically summed it up perfectly, ty. This will go into investors pockets while they prove they ran lines they were going to anyways while still ignoring the majority of rural areas, as it has in the past.
    Latiron and Black Paper like this.
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,990   +1,553

    $121,000,000usd / 36,579 = $3307.908 per connection

    no real assurance whatsoever the bandwidth to be provided either!

    IMO some lobbyist paid off the FCC
    Black Paper and Latiron like this.
  15. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 981   +338

    $137 million give out and I'm guessing the ISPs will just keep around $120 million of it for themselves. Without setting deadlines and actual fees (fees that they will feel) for not meeting them the ISPs will just do what they want and the money will be wasted.

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