FCC fund will increase internet access in rural areas

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction will provide high-speed internet service to more than 327,000 Pennsylvanians.

In Pennsylvania, nearly 1 million people lack reliable high-speed internet access, according to the FCC.

The fund will allocate $9.2 billion to 180 bidders to deploy high-speed broadband to more than 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses nationwide. The FCC will allocate $368.7 million over the next 10 years to 13 providers that successfully bid in an auction. These providers will offer high-speed internet access in nearly every county to underserved areas or areas that do not have access to broadband that meets the current federal standard.

“In the 21st century, reliable high-speed internet service is a critical utility for homes and businesses alike,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “The lack of this technology in our communities inhibits our students and educators, businesses, the healthcare system, and more from truly connecting locally and globally. If we want to support our economy, give our students the tools to learn, and improve quality of life, we must expand broadband access. The current pandemic has vividly demonstrated the pressing need to expand high-speed internet access to enable telehealth and allow students to connect with their classmates and teachers.”