FCC announces $20 billion fund to expand rural high-speed internet access
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last week to establish a $20 billion fund to expand high-speed internet service in rural areas, the Food and Environment Reporting Network reports (paywall). The lion’s share of the fund will go to census blocks currently operating with no broadband at all.
As we’ve reported in the past, rural America suffers from a dearth of high-speed internet access due to many factors, including low population density and a high cost of providing service. Still, policymakers have long pushed to bring internet access up to speed. Last year, FCC announced a $20 billion fund to expand 5G wireless technology to remote parts of the country, and two years ago, USDA launched a smaller but still substantial $600 million program to offer grants and low-interest loans to communities with fewer than 20,000 residents. Time to log in?