The FCC recently started to offer $20 billion to help Internet companies bring high-speed Internet to rural America. The FCC wants to make available a tier of funding for companies offering Internet speeds above 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up. Companies offering slower speeds will be limited to one part of the $20 billion fund, and companies above that limit will be able to apply to a different fund.
According to Arstechnica, AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, and their industry lobby group are fighting against that speed rule to ensure services offering at least 20 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up get a bigger piece of the fund.
AT&T is arguing that a tier of 50 Mbps down and 6 Mbps up will “encourage broadband development to as many locations as possible.”
The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is pushing 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up as the new fund standard. The goal of the fund is to have 99.75% of the locations receiving funding getting 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up with more than half of them receiving at least 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up.
Companies working to meet the goal can earn grants that in total will add up to $20.4 billion over the next 10 years.
We will have to wait and see if the FCC follows through on plans to stick with the higher speed or if AT&T will get its way and the FCC will make more funding available to companies offering slower Internet speeds.
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