FCC Announces $1.2 Billion Funds For Broadband Deployment In US
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced over $1.2 billion in funding through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to expand broadband service across 32 states in the US.
According to The Verge, the FCC calls this “the largest funding round to date”, and notes 23 broadband companies will provide service to more than one million new areas.
In addition, the FCC also introduced the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan, which will double the number of audits and verifications performed this year in comparison to 2021, the report said.
It will also require the FCC to make the results of verifications, audits as well as speed and latency tests public on the Universal Service Administration Company’s (USAC) website, it added.
“The new Rural Broadband Accountability Plan will streamline our audit and verification processes while also making the results of verifications, audits, and latency testing publicly available for the first time,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote on Twitter.
“These safeguards will ensure that programme providers do their jobs,” Rosenworcel added.
The pandemic only amplified the gaps in connectivity affecting the rural US, as employees transitioned to working from home and kids attended class virtually.
To help remedy the issue, US President Joe Biden signed off on a $1 trillion infrastructure package in November that allocates $65 billion to providing broadband to every American household.
The FCC also launched a programme that provides cheaper internet to low-income households late last year.