by: Michael Byrne, Geographic Information Officer
Recently, the Wireline Competition Bureau authorized $255 million from the Connect America Fund to expand broadband in rural areas lacking service. It's great news for the over 400,000 rural homes and businesses in 41 states that will get access to wireline broadband for the first time. And now, you can see more precisely where that expansion will occur on an updated interactive map.
The update of this map is especially useful because this round of Connect America funding includes a process to make sure that we are not subsidizing broadband where other providers are offering service without subsidies. The map shows where funds have been authorized because there was no challenge or challenges have resolved, and areas still subject to challenge. These decisions are based on very local information - down to the census block level - and the map provides a quick, easy, and clear way to identify those areas. Just zoom in! We'll update the map as challenges are resolved.
The Connect America Fund is part of the FCC's initiative to bring broadband access to rural communities in order to ensure that ALL Americans have access to today's essential tools for communications.