FCC Proposes Fund to Grow Access to 3G, 4G in Rural Areas

Posted by at 6:13 pm on October 14, 2010

The FCC at its monthly meeting today proposed the creation of a mobility fund. The  plan would create a   fund between $100 million and $300 million to deploy 3G and  later 4G in rural areas   where any modern cellular data has been unavailable. Some of the money would come from the Universal Service Fund which Sprint and Verizon has already contributed.

The fund would be model after landline access plans of the past. Where only those who live nearby benefit from landlines, mobile access benefits everyone who visits the area, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn explained.

“Most Americans anticipate that their mobile devices will work no matter where they are,” she said. “With this fund, we have an opportunity to meet that expectation.”

While  over 90 percent of the US population  has 3G or better coverage from at least one major carrier, about four million Americans have either to resort to 2G or have no data coverage at all. Carriers have long argued that even wireless coverage is   prohibitively expensive for some rural areas since the population counts and median incomes would make any service a money losing venture.

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