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The Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) proposes to retarget universal service funding for mobile broadband and voice in the high-cost program to support the deployment of 5G services by establishing the 5G Fund for rural America and seeks comment on the appropriate framework for implementing the 5G Fund.
To ensure that all Americans enjoy the benefits of the most modern, advanced communications technologies offered in the marketplace no matter where they live, and to maintain American leadership in 5G, the Commission proposes to establish a 5G Fund for Rural America, which would use multi-round reverse auctions to distribute up to $9 billion, in two phases, over the next decade and beyond to bring voice and 5G broadband service to rural areas of the country that are unlikely to see unsubsidized deployment of 5G-capable networks. Phase I of the 5G Fund would target at least $8 billion of support to rural areas of the country that would be unlikely to see timely deployment of voice and 5G broadband service absent high-cost support or as part of T-Mobile's transaction-related commitments.   

To balance the Commission's policy goal of efficiently redirecting high-cost support to the areas where it is most needed with the Commission's obligation to ensure that it has an accurate understanding of the extent of nationwide mobile wireless broadband deployment, the Commission seeks comment on two options for identifying areas that would be eligible for 5G Fund support.

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