By John Eggerton, Multichannel News, 10-5-20

The FCC has come up with the final framework for giving out $9 billion in rural broadband deployment funds and it will not be handed out before the FCC collects better broadband deployment data.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he has circulated that framework for a vote at the Oct. 27 meeting.

The FCC will use reverse auctions to hand out the money in two phases for the Rural 5G Fund. It will also use the improved maps on where broadband is and isn’t based on its new Digital Opportunity Data Collection.

“This approach won’t be the fastest possible path to the Phase I auction, but it will allow us to identify with greater precision those areas of the country where support is most needed and will be spent most efficiently,” said Pai.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly had signaled he would not vote for the framework unless the FCC used that better data. » Read More