By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Numerous locations in Alcorn County are eligible for recently announced federal funding to expand high-speed Internet in rural areas.
The Connect America Fund Phase II aims to help people on the wrong side of the “digital divide,” Federal Communication Commission officials said.
Nearly one million homes and businesses around the country are in areas deemed eligible for funding. There are more than 100 eligible locations in Alcorn County. To see a map of the locations in Alcorn County and around the country click here.
Service providers will compete for the funding through an auction and must meet certain technical and financial qualifications to bid. March 30 is the application deadline for service providers to participate, and the auction begins July 24.
The cost for businesses to extend services to outlying areas is unfeasible without government subsidies, officials say. That’s why the FCC will provide up to $2 billion over 10 years to help qualified providers expand broadband and voice services in rural communities.
FCC officials touted the funding as a way to get more people connected to the digital world.
“Demographic data shows that most of these individuals live in areas marked by persistent poverty: communities that would benefit the most from connectivity; areas that are populated by those who are cut off from robust job opportunities; places that remain at a marked disadvantage, when it comes to education, healthcare, government services, and civic participation,” FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn said in a statement.