Connect America Fund Phase II
In January 2015, the FCC moved forward with its second phase of the Connect American Fund (CAF). The CAF came from the 2011 reforms of the Universal Service Fund. In the first phase of the program, the FCC invested more than $438 million to bring broadband to 1.6 million people with no fixed broadband option.
In the second phase, the FCC is offering approximately $9 billion over the course of five years to expand broadband in rural areas at a minimum download speed of 10 mbps. The funding is offered to price cap landline telephone service providers to expand digital subscriber line (DSL) service in high cost areas. The service providers had the option to decline the funding in which case the funding will be made available to other providers through a competitive bidding process.
There was $46 million available to the Virginia incumbents (Verizon, CenturyLink and Fairpoint). CenturyLink and Fairpoint have accepted the funding available to them. With the funding CenturyLink will provide broadband to 49,000 households and businesses and Fairpoint will provide broadband to 2,440 households and businesses, all in high-cost markets in Virginia.
CenturyLink’s funding by county:
State Broadband Initiative (2010-2015)
Mapping and Planning
NTIA has awarded the Center for Innovative Technology
$1,799,979 for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a two-year period in Virginia, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.3 million. The Virginia Center for Innovative Technology is the designated entity for the state of Virginia.
2014 Broadband Projects Economic Impact Analysis:
NTIA and RUS Round 1 Award Recipients
Allegheny County/nTelos – (RUS) $16 million loan/grant combination for middle/last mile in Allegheny County.
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative – (NTIA) $16 million grant for build out of 465 miles of open access (middle mile) fiber in southside Virginia.
Virginia Tech Foundation – (NTIA) $5.5 million grant to build 110 miles of middle mile fiber between Blacksburg and Bedford City.
Nelson County – (RUS) $1.8 million grant to build middle mile fiber from Afton to Colleen in Nelson County.
Page County – (RUS) $1.6 million grant to build middle mile fiber to a distressed population is the county (less than 40% broadband penetration) andto connect twon governments, first responders, schools, libraries, and the primary hospital.
Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative – (NTIA) $19 million to bring high-speed affordable (wireless) broadband services to 15 underserved counties and the cities of Emporia and Franklin in south-central Virginia.
NTIA and RUS Round 2 Award Recipients
Bristol Virginia Utilities – (NTIA) $22.7 million for construction of middle mile optic network (388 miles) for Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Smyth, Washington, and Wythe Counties covering 120 educational institutions and community organizations and within 2 miles of more than 18,000 homes and 500 businesses.
Utopian Wireless Corporation – (RUS) $468,133 to bring Wi-Max infrastructure to communities in/around Mineral. Project estimates service approximately 4500 people, 400 businesses, and 50 other community institutions.
New Castle Telephone Company – (RUS) $1 million to bring DSL to unserved establishments in Craig County. Project stands to benefit approximately 700 people, several businesses and other community institutions.
Citizens Telephone Cooperative – (NTIA) $9,327,760 for middle mile in the New River Valley. Project will directly benefit more than 50 community institutions, 163,000 people and 1,300 businesses.
County of Rockbridge – (NTIA) $6,993,399 for middle mile in west-central Virginia. Project will directly benefit 50 community institutions, 33,000 people, and 1,300 businesses.
Mid-Atlantic Broadband Coopera – (NTIA) $10,023,247 for middle mile in eastern Virginia. Project will directly benefit more than 66 community institutions, 84,000 people and 340 businesses.
Scott County Telephone Cooperativetive – (RUS) received $17.4m in federal grant and $7.45m in federal loan to provide fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband services to approximately 12,000 residents, 80 businesses and 16 community centers.
LENOWISCO Planning District – (RUS) received $14,158,345 in federal grant and $6,067,862 in federal loan to provide service to an estimated 42,000 residents, 1,550 businesses and 100 community institutions.