FCC approves more funding to build out rural broadband

The FCC recently authorized more funding for rural broadband services in 24 states. (Pixabay)

The Federal Communications Commission this week announced that it had it authorized more than $563 million in funding to expand rural broadband services in 24 states.

Internet service providers in those states will be building out broadband services in the underserved areas of those states over the next 10 years, according to a story by Ars Technica. The ISPs will have access to the latest funding round this month.

"High-speed internet provides access to opportunity in the 21st century, and the FCC's top priority is closing the digital divide so that all Americans can fully participate in our connected society," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. "Today's authorization of funding is the largest yet from the auction, nearly double the amount authorized in the first two rounds nationwide, and serving over twice as many rural homes and businesses."

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The ISPs that receive funding need to build out to 40% of the required homes and businesses within three years, and an additional 20% each year until finishing the build out at the end of the sixth year, according to Ars Technica.

The money is being distributed primarily to smaller ISPs in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

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Verizon, which is getting $18.5 million to serve 7,767 homes and businesses in New York, is the biggest internet provider on the list, according to Ars Technica.

Monday was the FCC's third round of funding for rural broadband as part of last year's Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which granted $1.488 billion to support over 700,000 homes and businesses. The FCC previously authorized funding in May and June to support connectivity in around 100,000 homes and businesses.

The FCC is slated to authorize more funding in the coming months as it approves more applications from the auction's winning bidders. 

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