The FCC announced the availability of $300 million to connect up to 400,000 previously unserved homes, businesses, and anchor institutions in rural America. This funding supplements current levels of universal service support.
As part of the FCC's Connect America Fund's first phase, carriers will have 90 days to accept the funding and then two to three years to complete the broadband build-out. The funds are available to carriers based on the number of high-cost rural wire centers they serve lacking broadband access. Allocated support amounts include: Windstream ($60.4 million), CenturyLink ($89.9 million), Frontier ($72 million), Fairpoint ($4.8 million), AT&T ($47.8 million), and Verizon ($19.7 million).
The FCC is also implementing additional reforms to make more effective use of existing universal service funding.
FCC LAUNCHES ‘CONNECT AMERICA FUND’: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES WILL HAVE ACCESS TO HIGH-SPEED INTERNET FOR THE FIRST (http://transition.fcc.gov/, Apr. 25, 2012)