FCC Establishes $9 Billion Fund To Support 5G Services In Rural America [telecom]

by Angela Y. Kung

As the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") continues to take steps to facilitate the deployment of next-generation 5G services nationwide, it is also working to ensure that rural America is not left behind. On October 27, 2020, the FCC adopted an Order establishing the 5G Fund for Rural America ("5G Fund"), which will make available up to $9 billion in federal subsidies over 10 years to bring voice and 5G broadband services to unserved rural areas. It also requires mobile carriers receiving legacy support to use an increasing percentage of their $368 million in funding for 5G services. The funds are expected to support the deployment of 5G networks that will not only provide rural areas with critical access to telehealth, telework, remote learning opportunities, and precision agriculture, but will also drive job creation and economic growth.

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