ACTING CHAIRWOMAN MIGNON L. CLYBURN
Connect America Fund
, WC Docket No. 10-90.
Broadband is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It is the gateway through which most
Americans obtain critical information and services, find jobs, communicate with their teachers and health
care providers, and keep up to date with their family and friends. The sad reality, however, is that
millions of Americans still lack access to broadband networks, and for those living in areas where the
business case will not likely be made for rapid deployment, government engagement is essential.
Today’s Order, which leverages private investment and universal service funding, will potentially
connect hundreds of thousands of unserved consumers to robust broadband networks. Providers electing
to receive funding under the new rules for incremental support must include a one-for-one matching of
private investment for each dollar of universal service support. This public-private partnership stretches
the impact of federal funding to reach more communities. In addition, it provides a mechanism to make
available additional universal service support if the demand exceeds $300 million, and commits to using
any unclaimed funding to reach unserved communities through Connect America Phase II.
We take significant steps to connect these unserved communities and consumers today, and in so
doing are moving another step closer to fulfilling goals set forth in our historical overhaul of the high-cost
Universal Service Fund: to ensure that all
Americans have access to voice and broadband services.
Comprehensive reforms made this Order possible, and I want to thank former Chairman Genachowski for
his leadership on these issues.
None of this would be possible without the support of my fellow Commissioners, whose
collaborative efforts to reach a unanimous decision and unleash funding, should help to close the digital
divide for hundreds of thousands of Americans.