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FCC earmarks up to $9 billion for rural broadband in the U.S.

Photo: FCC

Luxembourg, 28 October 2020. – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will distribute up to $9 billion over the next ten years to bring 5G wireless broadband to rural America.

The agency announced that it adopted the rules for the 5G Fund for Rural America, which will use a multi-round reverse auction mechanism in two phases to “close the digital divide and bring economic opportunities to rural America”.

The 5G Fund targets support from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to improve mobile broadband coverage in areas where it is most needed, the FCC said.

The first phase of the fund targets up to $8 billion of support to areas lacking unsubsidized 4G LTE or 5G mobile broadband, with $680 million specifically set aside for bidders offering to serve Tribal lands, the agency said.

The second phase of the fund will provide at least an additional $1 billion, along with any un-awarded funds from the first phase, to support and facilitate precision agriculture.

The 5G Fund for Rural America complements the FCC’s objective to accelerate the roll-out of 5G across the U.S. with an auction of C-band spectrum that several satellite operators are using today for video transmissions and committed to clear.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Say YES to diversity and gender equality in the space sector: a look at the Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group of the SGAC

Diversity is difficult to measure and quantify, given all the aspects and shapes it takes, yet it is easy to witness and observe the lack of it in many fields including the space sector. If the space sector and all its disciplines should be used to help improve life on earth and observe it (amongst other purposes), shouldn't it be represented by all terrestrial individuals equally? In an ideal world, yes! But history and social biases have prevented our progress towards this perfect world, and we find ourselves today with a space sector still dominated by cis white-male individuals.