Biden names first woman to lead FCC

The Federal Communications Commission is chaired by a woman, Jessica Rosenworcel, for the first time in its 87-year history, said the White House on Tuesday. President Biden appointed Rosenworcel as FCC chair at the same time he nominated her for another five-year term on the regulatory agency.

FCC establishes $20 billion fund for rural broadband

In what it described as its biggest step yet to close the digital divide, the Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to establish a “rural digital opportunity fund” to provide up to $20 billion over 10 years for high-speed internet networks in rural America.

Universal rural broadband is a daunting challenge

The Trump administration’s rural prosperity report visualizes broadband as a lever for economic growth, but experts tell Harvest Public Media that “the devil is in the details — or lack thereof.”

FCC chair proposes $500 million for rural broadband

Declaring that closing the digital divide is the FCC’s top priority, chairman Ajit Pai proposed an agency order to put $500 million in funding toward high-speed internet in rural America, said ZDNet.

Coalition would use TV ‘white spaces’ to bring broadband to rural America

Software giant Microsoft is part of the Connect Americans Now coalition, which has “a plan to eliminate the digital divide by 2022” by persuading the FCC and other regulators to set aside low-band spectrum across the country to provide a broadband connection for everyone.

Obama to boost high-speed Internet in rural and urban areas

President Obama is to visit Cedar Falls, Iowa, today to promote widespread availability of high-speed Internet service, including in rural areas with poor or no service. As part of its efforts, the White House says USDA will re-open its Rural Broadband program with $40-$50 million in loans "to eligible rural carriers that invest in bringing high-speed broadband to unserved and under-served rural areas." USDA also is accepting applications through its Community Connect program, which provides grants for broadband projects.