The Federal Communications Commission says more than 106,000 rural homes and small businesses in Oklahoma and 42 other states will get access to improved broadband service, thanks to reforms to the Universal Service Fund.
“Today’s announcement means that many more rural Americans will have access to high-speed broadband service that will enable them to fully participate in the digital economy—entrepreneurship, telemedicine, precision agriculture, online education and more,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
The new rules were adopted last December and as part of the effort, 186 companies participated in the FCC’s Alternative connect america Cost Model program. The firms accepted $65.7 million in additional annual support over the next ten years.
In return, these carriers have committed to deploying 25/3 Mbps service to 106,365 homes and small businesses that would have otherwise only received slower 10/1 Mbps service.
The boost represents a 31.8% increase in the number of locations that will have faster service available through the A-CAM program. Carriers must deploy 25/3 Mbps service to 40% of locations by end of the 2022, and increase deployment by 10% annually until buildout is complete at the end of 2028.
Under the previous Mbps obligation, there were 20,029 customers in Oklahoma. But under the new program, the number increased to 27,753 or 38.6 percent.