FCC Authorizes $11 Million in Rural Broadband Experiment Support

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau has authorized $11 million in rural broadband experiment (RBE) support for four RBE applicants to deploy high-speed broadband service in five states. Wireless Internet service provider Skybeam, LLC has been authorized to receive category one funding to deploy broadband service in Illinois, Kansas, and Texas. Recipients authorized to receive RBE support for category one projects must deploy a network capable of delivering 100 Mbps downstream/25 Mbps upstream and offer at least one service plan that provides 25 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream to all eligible locations. Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative, Inc. has been authorized to receive category two funding to deploy broadband service in Iowa. Recipients authorized to receive RBE support for category two projects must offer at least one service plan that provides 10 Mbps downstream/ 1 Mbps upstream with at least 100 GB of usage, latency no greater than 100 milliseconds, and at a price that meets the FCC’s reasonable comparability benchmarks. Consolidated Communications Networks, Inc. has been authorized to receive $3 million in category three support to deploy broadband in North Dakota. Delta Communications LLC (Delta) has been authorized to receive $2 million in category three support to deploy broadband in Illinois. Recipients authorized to receive support for RBE category three projects must offer at least one service plan in extremely high-cost census blocks that provides 10 Mbps downstream/ 1 Mbps upstream with at least 100 GB of usage, latency no greater than 100 milliseconds, and at a price that meets the Commission’s reasonable comparability benchmarks.

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