Despite widespread proliferation of the Internet, there are still thousands of residents and businesses across the country that lack high-speed Internet connections. To address that issue, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a “Connect America Fund,” worth about $115 million.
As a result, some 400,000 residents and small business owners in 37 states will gain access to high-speed Internet within three years.
To quickly expand broadband infrastructure to rural communities in every region of the nation, the FCC will reportedly spend about $115 million in public funding, coupled with tens of millions more in private investment.
Many projects will begin immediately, and all projects must be completed within three years, holds the Commission, which created the “Connect America Fund” to unleash the benefits of broadband for all Americans in the 21st century.
The money is part of the FCC's Connect America Fund, a subsidy that the commission created last year when it overhauled its Universal Service Fund, which focused on ensuring telephone access.
The money for this fund comes from charges on consumers' monthly phone bills, according to the Commission. In essence, as described by FCC, the goal of the new Fund is to provide Internet service to 19 million homes and businesses by 2020.
As per the release, expanding broadband Internet access has been one of the FCC's top priorities under Chairman Julius Genachowski.
“Today’s action is just the beginning of our efforts to unleash the benefits of broadband for millions of homes and small businesses in unserved rural communities across the U.S," Genachowski said. "In today’s economy, broadband is a vital platform for innovation and opportunity, including jobs, education and healthcare."
Edited by Braden Becker