Bridging Arkansas' Digital Divide [telecom]

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Commentary by John P. Fletcher

The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed a new $20.4
billion fund for rural broadband expansion. This Rural Digital
Opportunity Fund could represent the best chance over the next decade
to narrow the digital divide for many rural communities. While much
work remains to finalize the fund, the FCC's proposal outlines a
framework that will likely define federal broadband policy for rural
America over the next decade.

The federal dollars that will support the fund are currently allocated
to the largest wireline carriers (called price cap carriers) under a
program called the Connect America Fund, Phase II (CAF II). In
Arkansas, the price cap carriers are AT&T, CenturyLink and
Windstream. No earlier than 2021, the fund would repurpose and
reallocate these CAF II funds.

Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)

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