FCC will invest over $1.2 billion in rural broadband across 32 states

jsilva

Posts: 325   +2
In brief: The FCC announced its plans to invest over $1.2 billion in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to improve the rural broadband infrastructure. This investment will task 23 providers with improving broadband services in over one million areas across 32 states.

As part of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) project, the commission also created the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan to ensure that programs such as the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund are compliant with the regulatory terms. The new plan aims to double the number of audits and verifications in 2022 compared to 2021 and do more on-site audits and verifications on randomly selected locations. The plan will also increase the audits and verifications of large and higher-risk support recipients, increase program transparency, and publish the results of verifications, audits, and speed/latency performance tests on Universal Service Administration Company's website.

"Today's announcement means more connectivity is coming to consumers, while we continue our commitment to make sure that funding goes to areas that truly need it," said Jessica Rosenworcel, chairwoman of the FCC. "The new Rural Broadband Accountability Plan will speed up our audit and verification processes and for the first time make public the results of verifications, audits, and speed and latency testing."

To ensure the fair distribution of the funding during the past year, the commission has taken measures to monitor this program better, including contacting applicants regarding areas that may have service already or if the service isn't being used appropriately. It will also conduct extensive reviews of all winning bidders. Moreover, the FCC made more places available for funding opportunities by defaulting the providers of selected areas and denying waivers for bidders that didn't secure state approvals or process their applications.

So far, the FCC has funded over $4 billion to winning bids and proposals for new projects, but this value should increase further as it keeps reviewing and selecting more applications.

Masthead credit: Bai Communications

Permalink to story.

 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,668
So we'll be ready to start digging in a billion dollars of cable just about the same time that the next-gen satellite ISPs are ready to start service?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,699   +6,639
So we'll be ready to start digging in a billion dollars of cable just about the same time that the next-gen satellite ISPs are ready to start service?
IMO, it is ironic, however, I anticipate that these "next-gen satellite ISPs" will be significantly more expensive - especially with the equipment needed to subscribe to their service being on the order of $500.

IMO, the bigger problem might be the oversight and keeping these ISPs from running away with the money and installing nothing.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,668
IMO, it is ironic, however, I anticipate that these "next-gen satellite ISPs" will be significantly more expensive - especially with the equipment needed to subscribe to their service being on the order of $500.
Probably true, but as a non-rural dweller who already has significantly more expensive rent / mortgage / property tax vs. rural residents (every month, forever), I'm not sure why my taxes should have to pay for their satellite dish too.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,699   +6,639
Probably true, but as a non-rural dweller who already has significantly more expensive rent / mortgage / property tax vs. rural residents (every month, forever), I'm not sure why my taxes should have to pay for their satellite dish too.
Presumably, they are paying taxes, too. I would guess that the amount of any individual's or family's tax dollars is quite small.

Unfortunately, the internet has become a necessity in this day and age.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,739   +7,678
Probably true, but as a non-rural dweller who already has significantly more expensive rent / mortgage / property tax vs. rural residents (every month, forever), I'm not sure why my taxes should have to pay for their satellite dish too.
$1,200.000,000 / 150.000,000 Tax payers = $8.00. Suck it up.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 527   +676
It needs to be spent on wireless infrastructure, Sat and 5G.

Starlink has already proven to be well suited for rural usage.


What these users do not need is 3mbps dsl from ATT.
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 652   +671
So the tax payers are going to pay for new fiber to be run...only to pay the ISPs for the Internet access too.
 

Superconductor

Posts: 93   +104
Live in an area where Xfinity is the only viable offering. But now the electric coop in our area just announced broadband availability starting later this year. 1GB/sec service will $99 per month, 500 will be 69.99 and 200 will be 59.00. Looks like the upper echelon will be subsidizing the lower tiers. That said, this introduces choice to consumers. Paired with streaming apps + very good OTA channel count - there's gonna be an exodus of Comcast haters for sure!
 

psycros

Posts: 4,147   +5,779
Probably true, but as a non-rural dweller who already has significantly more expensive rent / mortgage / property tax vs. rural residents (every month, forever), I'm not sure why my taxes should have to pay for their satellite dish too.

As someone who spent most of their life living in the country, it was always a little more expensive than living in town. I'm not talking about some bedroom community for the rich, either - I mean the REAL country where we raised most of our own food, the power went out every time the wind blew, etc. Heating was always expensive unless you burnt wood, which was a huge investment of time, plus you had to have the saws, tractors, etc, and it was just a pain all around keeping a fire going all the time. The only thing that was cheaper out in the sticks was water because we didn't have city sewage as part of the bill (plus we had wells to fall back on). I managed to tether my phone for years to get 3G Internet but anything beyond the most basic online gaming, browsing and light downloading was out of reach. It cost me three times what slow cable Internet does. Satellite was an expensive joke then I suspect its the same today.
 

Toju Mikie

Posts: 278   +265
It needs to be spent on wireless infrastructure, Sat and 5G.

Starlink has already proven to be well suited for rural usage.


What these users do not need is 3mbps dsl from ATT.

Some of the companies in the list do appear to be smaller fixed-wireless providers, which is good. I am worried about larger providers Charter and Cox that are also on the list. My guess is that they will roll out the cable/fiber internet too slowly in those areas (I remember Charter being sued for this a few years ago), and 5G fixed wireless will overtake them. One mid-band 5G tower offers 1-2 miles of range, and is also capable of gigabit speeds, also much cheaper and faster to deploy than wiring fiber or cable to each home.
 

Kinemon

Posts: 25   +13
It's not just about consumers. If you run fiber to rural areas that have no jobs the cheap rent + fiber can attract startup businesses.

Bringing jobs to areas that have few increases tax income and it can pay for itself with economic growth. That's IF the isps actually do it.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 207   +501
Corporate welfare. How many times has the government given $X billion to expand broadband? And how much of the population was newly connected when that money disappeared?
 

GoldenGoat

Posts: 46   +35
That is great for those people. I can't get broadband where I live because the FCC just goes by zip code. I live in a poor area where there is no broadband because ISP doesn't see enough profit potential to serve the area, but there are people in rich parts of the same zip code that can get 200 Mbs. The FCC just looks at the zip code and says, yeah that zip code gets 200 Mbs, they are good. The FCC needs to look deeper than just the max speed available in a zip code. They're looking at people way out in the boonies and skipped over people that have broadband right next door and can't get it.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 328   +587
$1,200.000,000 / 150.000,000 Tax payers = $8.00. Suck it up.
In 2017, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of all individual income taxes.

So really $16/ea for just this one tiny part of the last bill that won't actually fix rural internet. It will simply be a handout to ISPs.

The full bill is $1.9 trillion

$1.9T / 75M = $25,333 each.

And they have another larger bill they are trying to pass.

Where's your "suck it up" now?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,739   +7,678
In 2017, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of all individual income taxes.

So really $16/ea for just this one tiny part of the last bill that won't actually fix rural internet. It will simply be a handout to ISPs.

The full bill is $1.9 trillion

$1.9T / 75M = $25,333 each.

And they have another larger bill they are trying to pass.

Where's your "suck it up" now?
Let's face it, China is going to repossess the US before those debts are paid. I can just see the red army marching up Wall Street now..

Besides, the national debt is like a credit card you only make minimum payments on. The principle never goes down, you just end up making payments on the interest.

You just wait til the check comes in from Mexico for that border wall, then we''l be rolling in pesos.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 328   +587
Let's face it, China is going to repossess the US before those debts are paid. I can just see the red army marching up Wall Street now..

Besides, the national debt is like a credit card you only make minimum payments on. The principle never goes down, you just end up making payments on the interest.

You just wait til the check comes in from Mexico for that border wall, then we''l be rolling in pesos.
Spoken like someone that isn't paying appreciable taxes.

I'm already paying well above $25K/yr even with the government only making the "minimum payments" on the rapidly expanding debt. So for some of us, it is a right now problem - not some far off China will own us one day platitude.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,739   +7,678
Spoken like someone that isn't paying appreciable taxes.

I'm already paying well above $25K/yr even with the government only making the "minimum payments" on the rapidly expanding debt. So for some of us, it is a right now problem - not some far off China will own us one day platitude.

Try giving some credit where credit is due. (I don't know if that pun is intended or not. Take it however the mood strikes).