The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that thousands of homes and businesses in the rural areas of Illinois can potentially gain access to high speed internet.
The FCC claims that approximately 36,000 rural homes and businesses in Illinois are “currently unserved by high-speed Internet service.” But with the second phase of the Connect America Fund (CAF), the FCC asserts that the “high cost of extending broadband service into rural areas” will be offset, making it easier for higher internet speeds to make its way into more parts of the country.
Our own Cook County will see 1878 “locations” eligible for support from the auction.
To distribute funds, the FCC will employ the use of what they call an “innovative” reverse auction, which is set to launch on July 24. With this “reverse” auction, the FCC declares that providers nationwide will compete for $2 billion that will support in expanding broadband access to nearly 1 million people in rural areas over the next ten years. In addition, the FCC sees the auction as an opportunity provider for “new entrants to the marketplace, regardless of technology, including phone companies, fixed wireless service providers, satellite providers, cable companies and electric utility broadband providers.”
“Connecting the unconnected in rural America is my top priority,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “I’m excited that our CAF auction will provide opportunities for innovative companies and cooperatives to bridge the digital divide for the Illinois consumers and small businesses that lack highspeed access today.”