The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving forward with its plans for an auction later this year that will expand the availability of high-speed mobile services to unserved and underserved populations in the U.S.
Scheduled to begin September 27, 2012, the Mobility Fund Phase 1 reverse auction will award $300 million to carriers who commit to provide 3G or better mobile voice and broadband services in areas where such services are currently unavailable. The Commission says that it has chosen a reverse auction mechanism to award these funds to ensure that the available funds maximize the coverage in such areas.
The Commission has now published a new interactive map at that identifies U.S. geographic areas that are potentially eligible for support. The identified areas correspond with U.S. Census blocks that currently lack 3G or better mobile coverage as of January 2012. The map provides block-by-block data, including population, road miles and other census information.
The Mobility Fund program is part of the Commission’s overall effort to modernize the nation’s universal service system to provide all citizens with access to fixed and mobile communication networks.