Apply now to participate in rural broadband pilot program

Attention ISPs and community advocates! The FCC has created a Rural Broadband Trials Program whose goal is to bring high-speed Internet access to those areas of rural America that still suffer from abominable broadband service. You can apply now to participate in this program and help solve this problem. You should submit an Expression of Interest and if approved, the FCC will allocate money to fund your project.  Below are instructions on how to apply for this program.

How to submit an Expression of Interest to the FCC Rural Broadband Trials Program

Submit an Expression of Interest* before the March 7 deadline.

Sample “Expression of Interest” for Prospective Internet Providers
Sample “Expression of Interest” for Community Advocates

On January 30th, the Federal Communications Commission announced the Rural Broadband Experiments – an initiative soliciting proposals to bring high-speed Internet service to Rural America. For the first time, cooperatives, municipalities, nonprofits, anchor institutions, and Tribal governments are able to access federal funding to bring broadband service to rural areas.

This is a historic opportunity for rural advocates and entities committed to closing the digital divide in rural communities.

The Rural Broadband Policy Group of the National Rural Assembly hosted a webinar where Jonathan Chambers, Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, talked about how advocates, Internet providers, and anchor institutions can participate in the experiments. Interested parties were asked to submit an “Expression of Interest” by March 7th. You can listen to the entire Webinar.

The FCC will determine the amount of funding to allocate in the Rural Broadband Experiments based on the number of Expressions of Interest submitted.

Deadline to submit an Expression of Interest is March 7th, 2014

Whether you are an interested Internet provider or a concerned community advocate, the RBPG highly encourages you to submit an Expression of Interest.

Below you can find sample Expressions of Interest* and where to file your EOI:

For more information on how to file, please contact Edyael Casaperalta, RBPG Coordinator, at edyael@ruralstrategies.org.

rural america

Grand Canyon in the winter

Comments

  1. John Lamica says:

    Hello my name is John Lamica. I live at 1004 county route 8 North Bangor NY, 12966. I moved here a year ago. The house is in a rural area, so before I bought it I wanted to  be sure that broadband would be available. I called the broadband monopoly of that area Time Warner Cable, and they said that broadband was available so we bought the house. My fiancée was attending online college and I use broadband for work. It turns out TWC mislead us and its services were in fact NOT available. I argued that it was false advertising, but their argument was that services are available if we pay 62,000$ to have them run the line to our house. We don’t have that kind of money. After some time I finally accepted that TWC is never going to move one inch closer to our home.
    I heard of a FTTH provider, Slic Network Solutions, that applied for funding through RUS and CAF to bring broadband to unserved areas. I called them up to see about our situation. It turns out they had already applied for funding for my area and were denied by the NYS broadband program offices, presumably because the NYS broadband map incorrectly showed that our area had Verizon dsl. This is false.
    All in all there are 335 homes in North Bangor with hardly any broadband access just a trickle of 3g. I get top speeds of 300 kbos at my home. Slic said they’ve applied for funding again, but I’m not convinced will be approved after all we’ve already been denied once.
    So that’s my plight. I firmly believe that the only way we can solve this problem entirely is to label the ISP’s as common carriers in the telecommunications service. In the meantime however, upstate New York and North Bangor especially really need help.

  2. mitzi auer says:

    This is a nice ideal but the reality of rural “broadband” is far different. I know where I live in rural Mendocino county in California will not be eligible because we are serviced by Hughesnet satellite, which styles itself as a provider of fast broadband in rural markets. The reality of what they provide is slow (as in dial up slow) tiered data rates and caps. we currently pay 85 a month for 30 gb download amounts that 15gb normal and 15 gb between the hours of 2 and 6 am ( though this seem to fluctuate) The service is just barely fast enough to make a VOIP call (not Scype) however the latency can render it so annoying I only use it when absolutely necessary.
    Satellite is the only game in town. There is no DSL or any plans to bring it there.
    I imagine, since we initially got service through the America Recovery Plan, that this is the kind of service that will be considered “broadband” for rural communities.
    Don’t be fooled by Hughesnet or Dish or Wildblue sales pitches. They have a monopoly on Rural internet and so have no incentive to provide fair or affordable service. Data caps and bandwidth limits are the name of the game. The FCC has not expressed any interest in stopping these abuses, (or helping save net neutrality, for that matter) I have little faith in their ability to provide decent broadband to us.

  3. Tootgpick says:

    One word, Ubiquity.

    Setting up a point to point wifi link is no problem if you can get line of site to any broadband link within 30-50 miles or so, line of sight. It can be done. I am currently working on it for my home, which lacks any but the worst 1.5mb att dsl. After boycotting att, I put a few grand into raising two towers and will link them with rocket m5 radios and rocket dishes. Fingers crossed, link will be completed next week.

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