FCC rural broadband grants total $67.6 million in 10 Oregon counties
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized more than $67.6 million in affordable broadband funding in Oregon as part of its effort to improve broadband mapping across the rural U.S.
The Oregon funding will include 4,700 rural homes and businesses in 10 counties, including Jefferson, Baker and Wallowa counties, and is the most recent allocation of the more than $4.9 billion pledged in support for 455,334 homes and businesses served by 171 carriers in 39 states and American Samoa, including 44,243 locations on tribal lands.
The FCC support is targeting smaller, rural carries, known as “rate-of-return” carriers, and upon acceptance, the carriers must agree to maintain, improve and expand broadband throughout their service areas. This includes providing service of at least 25 Megabits per second downstream and 3 Mbps upstream to over 363,000 locations nationwide.
For those carriers, the first deployment obligation occurs in 2022.
“Our action today will help close the digital divide and is a win-win for rural Americans and taxpayers,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Carriers get the predictable support they need to deliver broadband to their customers in these high-cost rural areas. And taxpayers, who fund this support through a fee on their phone bills, are getting more bang for their buck.”
Greg Walden, Oregon U.S. Representative, released a statement is support of the FCC, saying that, by expanding access to broadband to those in rural areas, the funding is closing the urban/rural digital divide. “There are still too many Oregonians who lack access to reliable broadband internet service and thus access to things like telemedicine, remote learning, next generation emergency services and video streaming because of insufficient Internet service,” he added.
Earlier this summer, the FCC authorized nearly $16.2 million in federal funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 8,088 unserved rural New York homes and businesses. The New York counties receiving funds include Allegany, Erie, Cortland and Tioga.
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