FCC expands broadband for rural Texans

September 1, 2018

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced that nearly 36,000 rural Texas homes and businesses will receive access to high-speed internet within the next six years.

The FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction will give four broadband providers $82.4 million to expand broadband in rural areas of Texas where, absent this funding, this type of broadband expansion and ongoing service would not be economically feasible, a FCC press release stated.

AMG Technology Investment Group won the bid for the eligible areas of Ector, Andrews and Midland County. The company will receive over $400,000 to service 118 locations in Ector County, which are focused most heavily in the 1st precinct.

The auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America, the release stated. BroadbandNow currently lists the northwest corner of Ector County along Texas State Highway 302 as having no providers in the area. This region will be a focal point to receive above baseline, low latency broadband. Latency refers to delays in transmitting or processing data.

FCC Phase II support recipients must complete 40 percent of the locations throughout the state within the initial three years, in addition to 20 percent in each following year, the FCC website states.

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