FCC Proposing $20.4 billion for Rural Broadband

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has put forward a plan to invest $20.4 billion in a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

Pai says the fund would “target rural areas across the country where residents currently lack access to adequate broadband.” The proposal would establish a two-phased process to provide funding for the deployment of high-speed broadband in areas of the United States where there is currently not fixed broadband service that meets the Commission’s minimum speed standard of 25/3 Megabits per second.

For Phase I, the FCC would target $16 billion to areas that are wholly unserved by such broadband. For Phase II, the FCC would use its new granular broadband mapping approach, called the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, to target households in areas that are only partially served,

The rules will be voted on by the FCC at its Open Meeting on January 30.