The Federal Communication Commission has announced plans to expand the delivery of broadband internet access to rural areas in the U.S. through a reverse auction that is set to kick off in 2018, Nextgov reported Friday.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a July 13 public letter the agency’s Aug. 3 meeting would tackle a public notice to launch a pre-auction procedure for the second phase of the Connect America Fund auction.
The commission plans to award up to $2 billion over 10 years to companies that will compete to provide broadband and voice support services to users in rural areas as part of the reverse auction, Pai noted.
Pai said the August agenda would also include a discussion on the Mobility Fund Phase II.
FCC plans to create a “challenge process” that aims to address disputes over the eligibility of some areas to Mobility Fund subsidies in an effort to facilitate the reverse auction process.
Pai also cited FCC’s plans to update Form 477 in an effort to change the way the agency collects data on broadband services.