FCC Reveals Plans for CAF II Auction to Award $2 Billion for Rural Broadband
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken the final actions required to launch its Connect America Fund Phase II or CAF II auction, which will provide up to $1.98 billion over the next decade to expand fixed, high-speed Internet service in unserved rural areas.
CAF II Auction
In the Public Notice it adopted, the FCC scheduled the auction to begin on July 24, set a March 30 deadline for applications to participate, and set out detailed procedures. The agency also adopted an Order on Reconsideration resolving all pending challenges to earlier FCC auction implementation decisions.
According to an FCC press release, nearly 1 million homes and businesses nationwide are in unserved rural areas where providers are eligible for support from the auction. Qualified providers will compete for support over the next decade to offer voice and broadband service in unserved areas where, absent subsidies, there is no business case for expanding or providing service.
The scheduled auction is the first reverse multiple-round auction to provide ongoing Connect America Fund support for fixed broadband and voice service in high-cost rural areas. According to the FCC, the auction will also provide opportunities for new entrants, regardless of technology, including rural telco, fixed wireless, satellite, cable, price cap, and electric utility broadband providers. The Public Notice details the FCC’s outreach and education plans for potential bidders, including online tutorials, workshops, webinars and a mock auction.
Tutorials and other information will be available on the FCC’s website.
Eligible areas can be found here>>>