FCC Pledges $300M USD for Carriers, Delivering 3G/4G to Uncovered Areas
May 3, 2012 8:06 PM
comment(s) - last by
Program will push expansion into uncovered, unprofitable regions, but is it worth the big sticker?
At a time when the federal government's spending is being increasingly scrutinized, the
U.S. Federal Communications Commission
has announced a new plan to pour almost a third of a billion dollars into the telecom industry. The handouts will be delivered to U.S. telecommunications firms which bring 3G service within 2 years or 4G service within 3 years to underserved/uncovered regions.
Technically the new funding isn't all that new. The creation of the "The Mobility Fund" marks the
long awaited, long overdue revamp
of the Universal Service Fund (USF), a Clinton-era program that was designed to
increase land line phone service to rural areas
of the U.S., which carriers refused to serve due to undesirable profit potential.
land lines going the way of the
, The Mobility Fund represents the USF's digital makeover.
The fund's targeted regions included large swatches of land in the American Rockies, including large parts of Idaho, Nevada and Washington state. Alaska is another target for wireless expansion. Under the FCC rules carriers will "bid" on the grant contracts in a
. The contract will be rewarded to the carrier who agrees to provide the lowest cost service to customers if multiple carriers submit proposals for a region.
Bidding will run from June 27 to July 11, with the FCC announcing winners at the end of the $300M USD in targeted Phase I funding grants. Winners must provide service to 75 percent road miles in the "census tract" for the region.
Just because the new plan doesn't create new government spending doesn't mean that its big sticker price won't provoke controversy and debate. Some question whether the government should use taxpayers money while "playing wireless Santa Claus".
The new FCC Mobility Fund will reallocate existing dollars to pay for mobile network expansion in neglected areas such as the picturesque highways of Alaska. [Image Source: Planetware]
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski counters such criticisms, stating, "For too many, dead zones in mobile coverage are too common, and today's action will help close those gaps. By using market-based mechanisms, we'll ensure more gaps in mobile coverage are closed, and that every dollar is spent wisely and efficiently."
Under the plan, $500M USD will be provided each year in coming years to boost deployment and service speeds. The FCC has also promised $50M USD to provide low-cost wireless services to Native American reservations.
Wireless technology is a
key objective for President Obama
, who has sought to overhaul outdated funding programs and free up spectrum via
repurposing of government channels
FCC [press release]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
WOW.. that map is a trip
5/4/2012 10:11:31 AM
the included map above is ally telling.. scroll it around and zoom in and then mouse over places.
I like a few in texas where there is an area of road not covered but no people.
also alaska, really? do the caribou need 3G service?
"DailyTech is the best kept secret on the Internet." -- Larry Barber
Ex-Congressman Boucher Warns of Potential FCC Auction Discrimination
April 9, 2012, 4:02 PM
Obama Admin. Aims to "Share" Combat Aircraft Training Spectrum
March 28, 2012, 3:51 PM
FCC Approves Obama Administration's Government-Run Rural Broadband Plan
October 28, 2011, 3:12 PM
Obama Reveals National Wi-Fi Plans, Claims it Will Cut Deficit by $10B USD
February 10, 2011, 4:06 PM
FCC Moves to Kill Support for Landlines in Rural Areas, Beef up Broadband
February 8, 2011, 11:04 AM
Quick Note: New "Windows" Branding for Microsoft's Smartphones is Leaked
September 15, 2014, 2:00 PM
Sony Abandons Android Upgrade Support for Year Old Xperia and 3 Others
September 15, 2014, 11:07 AM
Apple Racked Up 4 Million iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Pre-orders Within 24 Hours
September 15, 2014, 9:54 AM
Despite Massive Failure of Apple Store Website, "Record Number" of iPhone 6 Pre-orders Received
September 12, 2014, 1:19 PM
Quick Note: Motorola Set to Release Unlocked, “Pure Edition” of Second Gen Moto X
September 12, 2014, 12:37 PM
Grand Theft Auto V for Xbox One, PS4 Launches Nov 18; PC Version Lands Jan 27
September 12, 2014, 9:04 AM
Most Popular Articles
Apple Announces 4.7" iPhone 6, 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus
September 9, 2014, 1:45 PM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
T-Mobile Launches Un-carrier 7.0, Beefs Up Wi-Fi Calling
September 11, 2014, 2:56 PM
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information