FCC Working on Rural Broadband Funding

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In a recent letter to several members of Congress, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outlined several recent steps that the FCC has taken — or will be taking – to enhance broadband service in rural America. The Chairman outlined a number of positives:
-The FCC, in March, “devoted over $500 million to increasing deployment by small carriers in rural communities – a reversal of the prior Administration’s policy of punishing these carriers instead of rewarding them for providing high speed, high quality services…we also doubled down on our model-based support for hard to serve communities.”
-In April, it proposed “to eliminate many of the legacy burdens for small, model-based carriers serving businesses in rural America — burdens that unnecessarily divert funding from build-out to paperwork.”
-In June, the Commission “eliminated a rule that penalized small rural carriers with extra Universal Service fees whenever they offered broadband.”
-And, most importantly, from the March NPRM concerning high cost USF support for rural carriers, the FCC will circulate an order later this year that will ensure the “adequate and efficient funding for rural broadband deployment.”
This should be music to the ears of the nation’s small, rural ILECs.