Feb 23, 2017

Rural broadband gets FCC votes

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The FCC will vote today on expanding rural broadband access:

  • One proposal will make changes to the way government funds are distributed to improve access to mobile broadband. Pai said earlier this month that the program's current practices are "perhaps a textbook definition of waste."
  • A second advances the rules that will govern the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding for wired broadband in rural America.

But wait: AT&T has said the proposed coverage requirements for carriers could leave some areas out in the cold, among other concerns. An FCC spokesman declined to comment.

The context: Chairman Ajit Pai has put expanding broadband in rural areas on his priority list. So have lawmakers, but it's not clear if they'll be able to move forward with a White House-driven infrastructure plan that would provide a vehicle for major changes.

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