FCC Launches Connect America Fund

The Federal Communications Commission officially launched the new ‘Connect America Fund’ (CAF), which was recently created as part of once-in-a-generation reform of the Universal Service Fund (USF).

This is the first phase of funding from the CAF (CAF Phase 1). Carriers have 90 days to accept the funding, as well as the aggressive buildout requirements that must begin in the coming months. The Commission expects that carriers will likely supplement the CAF funding with private investment. While carriers are not required to participate, hundreds of thousands of Americans will gain access to broadband even if carriers only accept a portion of the money. In addition, the FCC today implemented additional reforms that will make more effective use of existing funding to increase support for broadband for over 2 million rural lines across the country. As with CAF Phase 1 this funding was made available through reforms that improve fiscal responsibility and accountability, and target funding more accurately and effectively.

FCC Launches Connect America Fund Statement (Chairman Genachowski) FCC bolsters fund for Internet in rural areas (The Hill) FCC Releases First Funds in USF Broadband Transition (B&C) FCC Launches $300 Million Broadband Subsidy Program (National Journal)