Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated $63,536,610.90 to support rural broadband construction and development in the state of Nevada through its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. The auction allows providers of high-speed broadband to bid for the opportunity to connect families and businesses in rural areas to high-quality internet service at more than 30,000 assigned locations.
“We’re thrilled to see rural broadband in Nevada funded at a significant level that will help close the digital divide for Nevadans,” said the Senators. “From students struggling to complete homework during the pandemic to small businesses that need to reach new customers, expanded broadband access will help so many in the Silver State. We’ll continue to work in the Senate to prioritize legislation that makes sure Nevadans are connected to a world of information and resources.”
Nevada providers receiving this FCC support include the following:
- California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks $6,684,323.00
- Connect Everyone LLC $51,509,167.40
- Cox Communications, Inc. $286,903.30
- Safelink Internet LLC $1,197,661.50
- Space Exploration Technologies Corp. $3,858,555.70
The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America and focus limited universal service funds on unserved areas that most need support. In Nevada, only 49.4% of rural residents have access to quality broadband. The five providers that won the auction to serve Nevada must reach all assigned locations within six years. They will have incentives to build out to all locations as fast as possible.
Last year, Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen joined a bipartisan group of 48 Senators in urging the FCC prioritize sustainable, high quality internet in rural areas as it implemented the RDOF Program. The Senators also have co-sponsored various bills, including the ACCESS BROADBAND Act and the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen have co-led with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Senator Cortez Masto is also a lead sponsor of the bipartisan Connect Rural Schools Act and legislation to make it easier for schools to put Wi-Fi technology on buses.