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Upton: FCC providing funding to expand broadband access to local rural communities

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Washington, July 16, 2019 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today celebrated the news that the Federal Communications Commission authorized nearly $33 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 21,073 unserved rural Michigan homes and businesses. Michigan’s Sixth Congressional District will receive $2.6 million over 10 years, which will serve 2,375 businesses and households.

“It’s 2019. Internet broadband infrastructure must be reliable and secure for everyone, and our rural communities must have access to high-speed internet,” Upton said. “I’m glad to see the FCC’s announcement that they have authorized additional funding to expand broadband to nearly 2,400 businesses in rural communities across our district.”

“High-speed Internet provides access to opportunity in the 21st century, and the FCC’s top priority is closing the digital divide so that all Americans can fully participate in our connected society,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This authorization of funding is the largest yet from the auction, nearly double the amount authorized in the first two rounds nationwide, and serving over twice as many rural homes and businesses. I am pleased that the Commission is moving quickly to authorize these funds to close the digital divide in rural Michigan and other states.”

In the Sixth Congressional District, Mercury Wireless Indiana in Berrien, Cass, and Saint Joseph counties, and Midwest Energy Cooperative in Cass, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph, and Van Buren counties are receiving support.

The announcement from the FCC is part of the third wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. The Connect America Fund is the FCC’s program that looks to expand access across the country to voice and broadband services.

Click here to learn more about the Connect America Fund Phase II auction.



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