The FCC's Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force has scheduled a May 5 webinar on the big bucks the FCC plans to provide for closing the rural digital divide.
That effort has taken on new urgency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic-driven shelter-in-place populace and the Trump Administration plan to try and make sure all kids K-12 have access to broadband for remote learning.
Currently millions of homes--there is some disagreement over just how many--lack access to high-speed broadband, most in rural areas.
The FCC is giving out up to $16 billion in the first phase of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
The May 5 webinar is free and will give an overview of how the auction of that $16 billion in subsidies (Auction 904) will be set up.
The FCC said that almost 6 million homes and businesses will be eligible for service in the auction.
The FCC in January approved a $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to support broadband deployment in rural areas, with $16 billion handed out in phase one via a reverse auction.
The Report and Order adopted the two-phase reverse auction framework for providing high-cost universal service support to bring fixed high-speed broadband service to millions of unserved Americans in high-cost areas.
The fund will go toward deploying high-speed broadband over 10 years to areas currently lacking fixed broadband service of at least 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload.