Remarks Of Jay Schwarz, Wireline Advisor To Chairman Pai, 2018 Ceo Close-Up Conference Of The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Today I want to discuss Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai’s belief that we are on the cusp of a new era of partnership between the FCC and rural electric cooperatives. Specifically: our hope that electric coops will become a bigger part of closing the digital divide and delivering online opportunity to rural Americans who have been bypassed by the broadband revolution. And how the FCC can work with you all to bring about this change. 

The main opportunity I wanted to highlight today is the Commission’s upcoming Connect America Fund Phase II auction (CAF 2). Our Connect America Fund auction will use competitive bidding to efficiently allocate up to $2 billion over the next ten years to support deployment of networks providing both voice and broadband service, thereby expanding broadband availability to many more unserved Americans. I’m excited to let you know that today, Chairman Pai shared with his colleagues proposed bidding rules and procedures for this CAF 2 auction. He also has proposed an order resolving all remaining petitions for reconsideration regarding CAF 2 that will clear the way for the auction. At our next meeting on January 30, the FCC is expected to vote on these proposals—the last significant step before we can begin the application process and get this auction underway. So get ready: We are planning on beginning the CAF 2 auction this July.


Remarks Of Jay Schwarz, Wireline Advisor To Chairman Pai, 2018 Ceo Close-Up Conference Of The National Rural Electric Cooperativ