10.03.12

VTel Wireless A Winner In FCC’s First ‘Mobility Fund Auction,’ Netting $2 M. To Build Out 941 More Miles Of Wireless Coverage In Vermont

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.):

“Advances in wireless technology are vital to Vermont’s economy, and good coverage and quality are important in Vermonters’ daily lives.  Rural areas have lagged the rest of the country as networks have built out broadband access and mobile phone coverage, and Vermont’s terrain also has been a longstanding factor.  Vermonters deserve the same 3G and 4G coverage that is available in other parts of the country.  I am pleased that VTel has won these new resources to bring us closer to full coverage in Vermont.”

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[FCC ANNOUNCEMENT, BELOW]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:  Neil Grace, 202-418-0506 - neil.grace@fcc.gov

October 3, 2012

FCC ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF AMERICA’S FIRST ‘MOBILITY FUND’ AUCTION: UP TO 83,000 NEW U.S. ROAD MILES ON WHICH MILLIONS OF AMERICANS LIVE, WORK, OR TRAVEL WILL GAIN ACCESS TO MOBILE INTERNET WITHIN THREE YEARS

 

Winning companies will begin build-out of advanced mobile infrastructure to 31 states with areas that currently lack access; New mobile Internet service areas will help U.S. maintain global leadership in mobile

 

(Washington, D.C.) - FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced the winners of America’s first ‘Mobility Fund’ auction.  This market-based policy innovation was part of the Commission’s once-in-a-generation reform of the Universal Service Program last year, which allocated $300 million in savings from cutting waste and inefficiency, to a new Mobility Fund aimed at closing gaps in mobile coverage across the U.S.  The effort marks the first time in history the Commission has made universal mobile service an express universal service goal. 

As a result of the auction, new mobile infrastructure deployment will begin in 31 states with areas that currently lack access to 3G or 4G mobile service.  In total, up to 83,000 new U.S. road miles on which millions of Americans live, work, or travel will gain access to advanced mobile networks that significantly enhance opportunities for jobs, education, healthcare and public safety.  As part of the auction rules, winning companies must complete projects within three years.  They must also make their networks available to other providers for roaming so that as many consumers as possible can benefit from the new networks.

Thirty-eight companies and subsidiaries participated in the auction, submitting nearly 900 bids.  Winners ranged from larger national carriers like T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular to smaller carriers like Pine Belt Cellular, Inc. in Alabama, and VTel Wireless, Inc. in Vermont.  The Commission expects millions more in private investment to complement the auction funding. A full list of winning companies is can be found here.

This auction is just the first step in the Commission’s new effort to provide support to accelerate mobile deployment.  The Commission will provide an additional $50 million in one-time support to Tribal Lands and $500 million annually for ongoing support to mobile services in Phase II of Mobility Fund.  This funding all comes from savings from last year’s Universal Service reforms.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “For too many, dead zones in mobile Internet coverage are too common – and today’s winners will help the U.S. close those gaps.  But today’s real winners are the American people, millions of whom will soon have greater access to the job, education and healthcare opportunities of America’s world-leading mobile economy.  Over the last few years, the U.S. has regained global leadership in mobile innovation – and today’s successful auction will help our nation maintain that leadership in the 21st century.”

CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE AREAS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES THAT WILL RECEIVE SUPPORT TO ACCELERATE 3G AND 4G MOBILE COVERAGE.

 

The Mobility Fund auction used an innovative, market-based competition to distribute funding, the first time such an auction had been run in the United States. Carriers competed against others across the country, and winners were chosen based on the lowest cost-per-mile bids to extend coverage to unserved roads.  This will maximize the impact of the new funding to speed deployment to the greatest number of unserved areas. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE PUBLIC NOTICE.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS.

– FCC –

For more news and information about the FCC please visit: www.fcc.gov

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