The FCC will allocate $300 million in a second round of Connect America Phase I incremental funding to further leverage private investment in rural America. The funding is available to carriers who will have an opportunity to deploy into newly eligible areas.
The FCC also adopted a process to challenge the eligibility of particular census blocks, establish two different per-location support amounts based on the existing level of Internet access ($550 for homes with low-speed Internet access and $775, as in the first round, for homes with only dial-up access), and make certain other rule changes to encourage participation and ensure accountability and oversight.
On July 24, 2012, price cap carriers accepted nearly $115 million of Phase I incremental support for 2012, committing to bringing broadband to over 145,000 locations that previously had no access to even a minimal level of high-speed Internet access service, and little prospect of receiving service meeting our broadband standard within the next three years.
Phase I eligibility is expanded in the 2nd round to any location currently unserved by Internet service with speeds of 3 Mbps downstream and 768kbps upstream (3Mbps/768 kbps) or higher, though a lower dollar amount of support is provided for locations that already have some level of Internet access.