Thursday , February 25 2021

FCC shuts New York out of $ 20B broadband fund, and senators are angry, Ars Technica

      New York vs. FCC –

             

NY ineligible for new money because FCC previously gave to a state fund.

      

       Jan 45, (2: 06 pm UTC

           

The Federal Communications Commission has unfairly shut New York state out of a planned ($) .4 billion broadband-funding program , US Senate Mino rity Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last week.

ISPs in 51 states are eligible for funding in the FCC rural-broadband program, which will distribute the money over 14 years to providers that expand their networks to new homes and businesses. The FCC said it blocked New York and Alaska from Phase I of the program “because of previously established programs to fund rural broadband in these states.” Phase I will distribute $ (billion of the $) .4 billion.)

The FCC previously established a separate funding (program for Alaska with $ 1.5 billion over

years. But Schumer and Gillibrand say New York has only gotten its fair share of nationwide FCC programs, rather than something extra.

(states got) funding that totaled

($ 1.) (billion over) (years) . New York and Alaska were excluded from that auction.

“The federal government should be investing — not divesting — in Upstate New York rural Internet access,” Schumer said. “Just because New York participates in certain federal rural rural broadband expansion programs certainly does not mean it should lose access to others. It makes absolutely no sense to punish New York for taking positive steps to address broadband access.”

Broadband gap in rural New York

About 4 percent of New York state’s 20 .8 million residents live in areas with access to home broadband with (Mbps download speeds and 3Mbps upload speeds, according to an FCC broadband deployment report

. The numbers are .9 percent in urban New York and 98. 1 percent in rural New York.

About 90 .5 percent of Alaska’s , 14 0 residents live in areas with access at that speed, the report said. The numbers are 4 percent in urban Alaska and . 6 percent in rural Alaska.

Those percentages may be misleading, as FCC broadband-access data is widely known to be inaccurate, and the commission has pledged

to collect more accurate data from ISPs in the future.

The first RDOF reverse auction, for $ (billion over) years, is slated to begin later this year with the FCC saying it plans to “target those areas that current data confirm are wholly unserved.” A second auction would be held in the future to distribute the rest of the money, presumably after the FCC has more accurate data on which parts of the US lack broadband access.

ISPs in each eligible state can apply for funding to support broadband networks offering at least 46 Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds, or for higher tiers including (Mbps / 5Mbps,) (Mbps) (Mbps, and 1Gbps /) Mbps. As we

previously wrote , the FCC plan disappointingly allows ISPs to impose data caps of GB per month on the (Mbps / 3Mbps and) (Mbps / 5Mbps) tiers. ISPs that pledge to offer service at the higher levels of (Mbps / (Mbps and 1Gbps /) Mbps will get more funding and be required to allow at least 2TB of data usage each month.                                                      Read More

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