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Broadband has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for full participation in our economy and society – for all Americans. For that reason, the FCC has adopted comprehensive reforms of its Universal Service Fund (USF) and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) systems to accelerate broadband build-out to the 18 million (in 2011) Americans living in rural areas who currently have no access to robust broadband infrastructure. This reform will expand the benefits of high-speed Internet to millions of consumers in every part of the country by transforming the existing USF into a new Connect America Fund (CAF) focused on broadband.

Consumers everywhere – both urban and rural – will benefit. Reform will not only drive economic growth in rural America, but will expand the online marketplace nationwide, creating jobs and businesses opportunities across the country.

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Connect America Fund – Mobility Fund I

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Consumer Benefits by the Numbers

  • Americans living in unserved rural areas who will receive access to broadband over the next decade: in 2011, 18 million
  • Consumers who will get mobile broadband coverage where they live, work, and travel: millions
  • Jobs created related to new deployment in rural areas over five years: 500,000
  • Annual economic benefits in rural areas from new deployment: $700 million
  • Annual increase in economic growth, creating jobs: $50 billion
  • Benefit to cost ratio for consumers: $3 to $1
  • Percentage of FORTUNE 500 companies that post job openings online only – and require online applications: over 80 percent
  • Graduation rates for students with broadband at home compared to similar students with no broadband access: 6% to 8% higher
Updated: July 15, 2014
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