updated 02:53 pm EDT, Fri May 4, 2012
Mobility Fund to be available as a reverse auction
The Federal Communications Commission has detailed the bidding process for its $300 million 'Mobility Fund' that aims to hasten 3G and 4G deployment in rural areas throughout the US. The funds will be allocated through a reverse auction, requiring companies to submit bids that indicate the amount of cash needed to deploy 3G and 4G networks within the Commission's guidelines.
"For too many, dead zones in mobile coverage are too common, and today's action will help close those gaps," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. "Through the launch of this Mobility Fund, the Commission has recognized mobility as a universal service priority for the first time."
Spotty coverage in rural areas is said to leave millions of Americans without mobile networks capable of transmitting broadband data. The reverse auction is one of several initiatives that the Commission has created to incentivize network expansion in areas that are sparsely populated and underserved by cellular carriers.
Bidders will have to deploy their 3G service within two years, or 4G service within three years of receiving the funds. Winners will be chosen based on the lowest bid amounts for a given area.