Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aiming to establish a ‘5G Fund for Rural America’, which would distribute up to USD9 billion across the country for 5G connectivity. The 5G Fund would specifically target rural areas that would not see timely deployment of 5G service absent support and are not likely to be covered by the rollout commitments attached to T-Mobile-Sprint merger. (Note: T-Mobile has agreed to provide 5G connectivity to 99% of the US population within six years.) The FCC will vote on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its Open Meeting on 23 April.
Pai commented: ‘5G promises to be the next leap in broadband technology, offering significantly increased speeds and reduced latency. The 5G Fund for Rural America focuses on building out 5G networks in areas that likely would otherwise go unserved. It’s critical that Americans living in rural communities have the same opportunities as everybody else.’