The FCC has approved four Connect America Fund projects that will receive $11.2 million in funding to deliver broadband services to thousands of consumers in rural areas in five states. The funding is a small component of an overall offering of nearly $1.7 billion that has been paid to carriers as part of the Connect America initiative.
Skybeam, a fixed wireless company, will receive $4.48 million to extend fixed wireless service to 6,647 homes and businesses in Texas, Illinois and Kansas, with speeds reaching a theoretical maximum of 25 Mbps downstream.
Consolidated Communications, a carrier that operates as an ILEC, CLEC and overbuilder in parts of 11 states, will receive $3 million for a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout involving 171 homes and businesses in portions of Stark County, N.D.
Delta Communications, an Illinois CLEC, will receive $2.2 million for an FTTP rollout to 122 homes and businesses across parts of 18 counties in Illinois.
Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative is slated to get $1.5 million to extend a broadband network to 665 homes and small businesses in Fayette County, Iowa. This network is described as "a hybrid fiber/fixed wireless network."
The FCC launched the Connect America Fund in 2014 as a way to fund the buildout of broadband to 23 million Americans that lack access to terrestrial broadband. The FCC defines broadband as 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.
This announcement follows on the heels of a significantly larger Connect America announcement that occurred in early August. Windstream, a leading rural ILEC, has been slated to receive $175 million to provide broadband to nearly 400,000 rural households across 17 states.
In July, Frontier indicated plans to use Connect America funding to expand broadband in ILEC territories that it is in the process of acquiring from Verizon in parts of California and Texas.
The FCC is requiring that the buildouts be 85 percent complete in three years and 100 percent complete in five years.
- see this release
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