If you’re one who lives on the outskirts of town or in a sparsely populated area, chances are you know the frustration of not being able to access high speed Internet. And if you do, you probably pay a pretty penny for it. Recent news from the FCC (News - Alert) regarding broadband solutions
will give many residents living in the Western side of the country something to celebrate.
According to this PC World report
, on Wednesday, May 2 the FCC declared that it would be receiving bids to launch the beginning stage of its Mobility Fund
, which is designed to offer 3G and 4G wireless data networks to zones of the United States that have been previously excluded.
A look at the coverage map
reveals who will be privy to the new services. Coverage will now extend to isolated parts of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and even Alaska. While some states in the eastern side of the country are slated to receive the service, the bulk of the broadband solutions will occur in the west.
The FCC has recognized the importance of closing the gaps in data service coverage
. The new Mobility Fund will allow broadband solutions that will make it possible to eliminate more dead zones, making better service a priority for all customers.
The Mobility Fund, which is part of the FCC’s broader Universal Service Fund, entices mobile companies to bring 3G and 4G service to untapped or underserved regions
. The process that the FCC will use to select its winners is known as a reverse auction. The award for the project will go to the lowest bidding providers.
The FCC has about $300 million to grant to the chosen providers. There are strings attached, however. After being selected and the grant is dispersed, the chosen providers only have two years to set up 3G service or three years to complete infrastructure for 4G service.
According to a public note released by the FCC detailing the project and timelines, the first stage of the project is set to break ground this summer. Interested providers have less than a 30 day window (from June 27 to July 11) to complete the initial application in order to be considered.
The process of selection will consist of a one-round auction where potential providers will be asked to submit their sealed bids. Each provider must put its best foot forward as bidders undercut one another in an effort to be the chosen bidder. In order to be considered, each provider must commit to providing 75 percent coverage to the zone it wins as measured by road miles.
Aside from the $300 million that the FCC has allotted for broadband solutions, it will also be providing an additional one-time award in the amount of $50 million for the provision of indigenous property. An additional $500 million will be allotted annually for the continued support of cell phone services.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca