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FCC consults on rules for auction of rural broadband funds

The US Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead with plans for an auction in 2018 of funds to expand broadband access to rural and underserved areas. Nearly USD 2 billion over ten years will be available to operators. This represents the first use of an auction by the FCC to allocate Connect America Fund support for fixed broadband and voice services in rural areas.

Use of a reverse auction mechanism is expected to help save costs and maximize investment.

The regulator opened a public consultation on the proposed application and bidding procedures for the auction, including how interested parties can qualify to participate in the auction, how bidders will submit their bids, and how the FCC will process bids to determine the winners and support amounts.

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