U.S. Cellular Receives Four “Mobility Fund” Grants for Illinois

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

U.S. Cellular received four "Mobility Grants" for Illinois, totalling about $3.5 million. 

Washington, October 3, 2012 -- 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.

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Tags: bid, FCC, grant, mobile infrastructure, rural areas, US Cellular

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