FCC earmarks $32M to expand broadband in Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska

The FCC is making $32 million in Connect America Fund (CAF) grants available to enable service providers in Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska to bring broadband service to over 42,000 "underserved" homes and businesses

The new allocation is part of what the regulator says is a "jump-start" to extend broadband service to these areas via the CAF.

Under the plan, the FCC will break out the allocations in specific increments to each state: It will provide $31.6 million to Puerto Rico to reach 40,736 homes and businesses; $1 million to Hawaii to reach 1,317 homes and businesses in Hawaii County; and $174,000 to reach 316 homes and businesses in Alaska's Yukon-Koyukuk Borough.

Alaska Communications and Hawaiian Telcom (Nasdaq: HCOM), the two dominant telcos in Alaska and Hawaii, could not be reached for comment on the new funding allocation.

"I'm delighted we can provide an infusion of funds to connect communities in Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii to jobs and other opportunities as we work with our partners in the private sector to build out broadband networks that will reach all Americans," said FCC Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn, in a release.

After the FCC altered the rules on how the CAF funds could be spent, three of the largest U.S. telcos, AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), and Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) accepted CAF-I allocations earlier this year.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
AT&T accepts $100M from FCC's Connect America Fund to expand rural broadband
CenturyLink takes $54M in CAF funds to expand rural broadband reach