FCC dishes out further $800m for rural broadband roll out

rural areas
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The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it is all set to distribute $800 million to help fund improvements to rural broadband coverage across the country.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will dish the cash out to six providers who will then connect more than 350,000 locations in 19 states. 

The states that received the most funding are Illinois, Arizona, and Iowa.

US broadband

There is no specific technology outlined by the FCC, which says the premises will be connected via a combination of fibre, fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband that uses a mobile network to deliver fixed line quality connectivity, or a hybrid of the two standards.

“This funding will connect more households throughout the country with high-speed broadband as part of our ongoing work to close the digital divide,” said FCC chairwoman Rosenworcel. 

“We are confident these projects can bring quality service to currently unserved areas.”

The latest funding brings the total amount distributed via the initiative to more than US$6 billion across 47 different states.

The current minimum standard of broadband in the US has been set at 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload, however the FCC has indicated that this benchmark is no longer sufficient to support the applications that Americans need for work, entertainment, and everyday life.

It plans to increase the minimum standard to 100Mbps download speeds and 20Mbps upload, with an intention to achieve 1Gbps and 500Mbps in the future.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.