FCC Launches First-of-its-Kind "Mobility Fund" Auction
News media Information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order
constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTSMay 2, 2012
Cecilia Sulhoff, 202-418-0587
FCC LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND ‘MOBILITY FUND’ AUCTION TO
ACCELERATE DELIVERY OF 3G & 4G TO CLOSE GAPS IN MOBILE
COVERAGE ACROSS THE U.S.
Created out of savings from Universal Service Fund reforms, the Mobility Fund will
accelerate coverage for tens of thousands of unserved road miles where millions of Americans
live, work & travel
(Washington, D.C.) – The Federal Communications Commission today announced the competitive bidding
procedures for Phase I of the Mobility Fund, the first-ever reverse auction for Universal Service support, which
will accelerate delivery of advanced mobile services to tens of thousands of road miles that currently lack 3G or
4G service. Winning bidders must deploy either 3G service within two years or 4G service within three years of
the award. The Mobility Fund will award up to $300 million that was reserved out of savings from the
Commission’s Universal Service Fund (USF) reforms. The auction is a market-based, fiscally responsible policy
innovation to generate the greatest impact for every universal service dollar.
Mobile broadband has become essential to creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity and has unleashed
new innovation in education, health and public safety. As part of last year’s reform and modernization of USF,
the Commission for the first time made universal mobile service an express universal service goal, and created the
Mobility Fund to help close the nation’s gaps in mobile wireless service.
CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE AREAS OF OUR NATION THAT LACK
ACCESS TO 3G MOBILE SERVICES AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR MOBILITY FUND PHASE I
SUPPORT.In this reverse auction, bidders will indicate the amount of one-time support they need to deploy service meeting
rigorous performance standards in unserved areas within the required timeframe. Bidders will compete not only
against other carriers that may be seeking support in the same areas, but also against carriers bidding for support
in other areas nationwide. Support will be awarded based on the lowest bid amounts submitted, but will not be
awarded to more than one provider per area. Successful bidders will be awarded support for an area at the price
Today, the Wireline and Wireless Bureaus released a Public Notice, which details the procedures for the Mobility
Fund Phase I auction, designated as Auction 901, including pre-auction and post-auction requirements,
determining the census blocks eligible for support, and establishing the window for parties to file applications to
participate. After considering filings made by parties in response to the Auction 901 Comment Public Notice, this
Establishes a window for the filing of short form applications that opens June 27, 2012, and closes at
6 p.m. July 11, 2012;
Identifies the final list of census blocks eligible for Mobility Fund Phase I support;
Makes support possible for 98 percent or more of the total road miles in eligible census blocks in
every state and territory;
Provides that Auction 901 will be a single round, sealed bid auction;
Provides for bidding on a census tract basis, except in Alaska, where bidding will be permitted on
individual eligible census blocks; and
Requires that each winning bidder provide coverage, consistent with the performance requirements of
the rules adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order, to a minimum of 75 percent of the road
miles in each census tract for which it wins support, calculated as the total of the road miles in the
eligible census blocks in the tract.
The one-time support offered under Phase I of the Mobility Fund is in addition to any ongoing support provided
under existing high-cost universal service program mechanisms. The Commission will offer an additional $50
million in one-time support to Tribal lands through a Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I. Phase II of the Mobility Fund
will provide $500 million annually for ongoing support of mobile services.
- FCC -
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