Sen Thune Introduces Bill to Advance Rural Broadband Services

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Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD)  introduced the Rural Connectivity Advancement Program (RCAP) Act of 2020, legislation that would capture a portion of the proceeds from spectrum auctions conducted by the Federal Communications Commission through September 30, 2022, for the buildout of broadband networks. The FCC would be able to utilize the funds to support broadband deployment in rural America. Specifically, RCAP would:

  • Set-aside 10 percent of the net proceeds from spectrum auctions for the buildout of broadband networks;
  • Require the FCC to utilize the funds provided by RCAP to address gaps that remain in broadband internet access service coverage in high-cost rural areas;
  • Allow the FCC to use the funds provided by RCAP in a technology-neutral manner to address shortfalls in sufficient funding of existing USF High-Cost Programs for the buildout of broadband services;
  • Require the FCC to consider the broadband internet access service needs of residents of tribal lands; and
  • Require the FCC to produce an annual report on the distribution of funds established under this act.…