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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Monday new funding for its plan to bring high-speed internet to rural America.
The FCC stated that it had authorized $166.8 million in funding to “expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses in 22 states” over the next decade, according to a press release. The new funding comes after the FCC pledged $116.6 million last May to bring fast internet access to more than 37,000 homes throughout 12 different states.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated that the second round of funding would give underprivileged areas “access to the 21st century opportunities that broadband offers.”
“Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time,” Pai said.
Internet service providers who receive funding will be required to bring access to 40% of the homes and businesses included in the deal within three years and must reach an additional 20% each year thereafter.
The FCC chairman also intends to create a “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund” to provide another $20.4 billion over the next 10 years to the same cause.
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Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.