On January 30, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission voted to create a Rural Broadband Experiment program, and Declaration Networks Group is an active participant in this effort. The FCC hopes that this experiment will help it shape and adjust its Connect America Fund broadband subsidy program by including an application-based, competitive bidding framework. One purpose is to see whether available subsidies could provide higher levels of service, including expanded service to community anchor institutions, that exceed the current 4 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload standard for the Connect America Fund.
In addition, these rural broadband experiments mark the first opportunity for providers that are not the incumbent local telephone company in a particular area to receive Connect America Fund subsidies to build and operate fixed broadband networks in those areas. The FCC actively and openly solicited “expressions of interest” from providers, communities, institutions, and public-private partnerships regarding their ideas and proposals as to how they would utilize Connect America Fund subsidies to support broadband infrastructure build-out in currently unserved areas. These initial, nonbinding “expressions of interest” were due at the FCC on March 7, 2014.
To date, the FCC has received almost 1,000 expressions of interest from applicants across the country, which can be found at List of Expressions of Interest. The FCC is currently evaluating these submissions and is expected to release an Order defining how to move forward with this program. Such Order will include details regarding available funds for the program, a clear definition of areas eligible for funding, project rules and rules for evaluating. Declaration Networks was one of only several companies to submit more than one expression of interest as the company was reference in 9 submissions for deployment plans in multiple states.
For more info, contact: Barry Toser – firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-850-7172.