WASHINGTON – The FCC authorized almost $37 million in funding to expand broadband to nearly 13,900 unserved rural Virginia homes and businesses in 34 counties.
These funds are going to be distributed from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.
Providers will begin receiving funding this month. The Connect America Fund Phase II auction is part of the FCC’s efforts to close the digital divide in rural America.
The FCC recently provided 186 companies in 43 states $65.7 million in additional annual funding to upgrade broadband speeds in rural communities, and offered incentives for over 500 rural carriers to provide faster broadband to over 1 million rural homes and businesses.
Chairman Pai of the FCC also announced his intention to create the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will provide $20.4 billion over the next decade to connect approximately four million rural homes and businesses to high-speed broadband, representing the FCC’s single biggest step yet to close the digital divide.
Nationwide, the auction last fall allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years. As of now, the first two rounds of authorizations are providing $278.4 million nationwide over the next decade to expand service to 97,998 new locations.
Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.
“I’m pleased to announce that funding starts now for buildout of high-speed Internet service to nearly 13,900 rural Virginia homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband offers,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to all the locations for which funding is being authorized today, making cutting-edge broadband available to these rural consumers.”