Tens of millions of Americans don't have access to broadband, and the FCC has announced a series of measures to help connect them to faster internet speeds. With its latest measure, the agency is repurposing funds from other programs to create the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. It seeks to connect up to four million rural homes and businesses to high-speed internet networks. The fund will provide $20.4 billion in subsidies over 10 years to companies through an auction process to build out broadband infrastructure in rural areas.
The agency made the announcements as part of its 5G Fast plan, which seeks to speed up the rollout of 5G technology. It has, for instance, given cities 90 days to process applications for 5G infrastructure and restricted how much they can charge for deployment.
Meanwhile, carriers are starting to activate their 5G mobile networks. Verizon (Engadget's parent company) and AT&T turned on or expanded their networks within the last couple of weeks. Sprint and T-Mobile are expected to start activating theirs within the next few months.