FCC Green-Lights Connect America Fund Phase II Auction Process

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The FCC has adopted a public notice that formally launches the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF 2) auction, which will provide up to nearly $2 billion over the next decade to expand fixed, high-speed Internet service in unserved rural areas. The actual auction will commence on July 24, but March 30 is the deadline for applications from interested participants. Included in the public notice are detailed procedures for how the auction will be conducted, as well as reference materials such as online tutorials, scheduled workshops, webinars, and plans for a mock auction. Also adopted by the FCC in its monthly open meeting was an order on reconsideration resolving all pending challenges to earlier FCC auction implementation decisions. According to FCC data, nearly one million homes and businesses nationwide are in unserved rural areas where providers are eligible for support from the CAF 2 auction. The CAF 2 auction will provide opportunities for new entrants, regardless of technology, to help deploy high speed Internet in unserved and underserved rural markets, including rural telco, fixed wireless, satellite, cable, price cap, and electric utility broadband providers. A map of eligible CAF 2 auction markets can be found here, and once finalized, webinar and tutorial information can be found here.

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