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FCC Publishes Procedures for Rural Broadband Experiment Applications

Randy Sukow Aug 20, 2014

FCC staff has been providing information over several weeks to assist rural entities interested in applying for money to support rural broadband experiments. Earlier this summer, the Commission adopted an order setting aside $100 million to fund broadband installations of various technology types to determine the most cost-effective approaches. The funds are available to rural telcos as well as other companies that do not traditionally receive FCC universal support, including electric utilities.

Today the FCC published the precise procedures for filing an application. As earlier announced, the applications will serve as bids in a reverse auction to provide support to the lowest bidder. The applications are due electronically by 6 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, Oct. 14. The document provides step by step instructions for filling out the application form.

“The application will contain basic information about the applicant and the proposed project(s), bid forms for each proposed project, a descriptive data form, and certifications required by the Commission.  The application will be used by the Bureau to rank proposals and determine which of the proposals is the most cost-effective within each funding category,” according to the procedure document.

Applicants must reveal whether they seek funding for a project to provide 25 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream or higher; at least 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream, or at least 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream in extremely remote areas. They also must provide information about where they intend to conduct experiments by giving census block identification numbers. The Commission provides the census blocks eligible for funding through an online interactive map.

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