Recently a bipartisan bill called the Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Act of 2018 was introduced by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). This bill would determine whether mobile and broadband in rural areas is “reasonably comparable” to services in urban areas. T
“While progress has been made, too many rural areas continue to fall behind,” said Capito, chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus.
“The Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Act will help bridge this digital divide by helping to ensure that rural areas—like those in West Virginia—have the access to high-speed internet that many of our urban communities do.”
This all comes as the FCC took the final steps in a plan to release $2 billion in federal funding for new broadband infrastructure in rural areas.
This plan is called the Connect America Fund II, and its goal is to subsidize work in underserviced areas. These areas are picked by the FCC, and companies will be able to apply to get subsides to support different areas selected by the FCC.
This is all part of a bigger effort by the FCC to drive up broadband penetration in rural areas that traditionally have limited internet access. From making it easier for companies to roll out new fiber to support the expansion of broadband, this new funding is just one step in that bigger plan.
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