Federal Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai this week presented his colleagues with final rules to launch the new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Chairman Pai says the fund would “target rural areas across the country where residents currently lack access to adequate broadband.” The rules will be voted on by the FCC at its Open Meeting on January 30.
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 unserved households in areas that are partially served by such broadband.