The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the winners of the Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction (CAF).  The auction will allocate $1.488 billion nationwide over the next 10 years to support broadband deployment projects in underserved rural areas.  

The auction granted California $149,026,913 – the second in most funds allocated to any state.  The funds will be divided up among five California service providers: Cal. net, California Internet, Frontier Communications, Hankins Information Technology, and Viasat.  These providers are now required to use these funds to deploy additional broadband service in over 50,000 underserved locations across the state. 

According to the FCC, 53 percent of all homes and businesses served with support from CAF funds will have internet download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.  Perhaps more importantly, all but 0.25 percent of these locations will have at least 25 megabits per second of service.  Recipient providers will be required to demonstrate a 40 percent build out of their service networks within the first three years of the program.

In addition to CAF, the FCC is working on a new program that will grant monthly funds for wireless coverage projects in rural America.  The Mobility Fund Phase II program will auction off $4.53 billion for projects per month.