FCC launches new mobile broadband subsidy
The agency's Mobility Fund will give up to $300 million to carriers to provide service to new areas in the U.S.
IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has begun the process to get competitive bids for new mobile broadband subsidies designed to bring 3G or 4G service to areas in the country that do not have it.
The FCC on Wednesday announced bidding procedures for the first phase of its new Mobility Fund and released a map of areas eligible for Mobility Fund service. The map includes large areas if the U.S. Mountain West, including large parts of Idaho, Nevada and Washington state, as well as large parts of Alaska. But several areas in the eastern U.S. are also eligible, including large chunks of West Virginia, northern New York and Maine.
The Mobility Fund, created in 2011 as part if the FCC's revamp of telephone subsidies under the Universal Service Fund, will award up to $300 million to mobile providers that bring service to new areas. Winning bidders must deploy either 3G service within two years or 4G service within three years of the award.
With the launch of the Mobility Fund, the FCC has recognized mobile service as a universal service priority for the first time, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
"For too many, dead zones in mobile coverage are too common, and today's action will help close those gaps," Genachowski said in a statement,. "By using market-based mechanisms, we'll ensure more gaps in mobile coverage are closed, and that every dollar is spent wisely and efficiently."
The FCC will award the funds in a reverse auction, in which mobile providers will compete to be the lowest-priced provider to bring service to an area. Bidders will compete both with others that may be seeking support in the same area, but also with carriers bidding for support in other areas.
The FCC on Wednesday released a public notice detailing the procedures for Phase I of the Mobility Fund. The window for filing short-form applications opens on June 27 and closes on July 11. The auction will be a single-round, sealed-bid auction, and the FCC will require that the winning bidders provide coverage to at least 75 percent of the road miles in each census tract for which they win support.
In addition to the Phase I funding, the FCC will also offer an additional $50 million in one-time support to tribal lands and $500 million each year for ongoing support of mobile services.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more