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Photo: Rural Broadband Association 

Large patches of land throughout north central Washington lack access to fiber broadband internet, but a developing endeavor that’s spearheaded by the Federal Communications Commission could change that.

On Thursday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai shared a draft order that would establish a $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to saturate America’s rural territory with high-speed broadband internet.

The Fiber Broadband Association says the RDOF would raise the bar for rural broadband deployment by requiring faster speeds than a previous fund.

Fiber Broadband Association President Lisa Youngers applauded the FCC’s preliminary plan:

“The Fiber Broadband Association’s members applaud Chairman Pai’s draft order adopting rules for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. This $20 billion program will connect millions of unserved consumers to the economic, social, healthcare and educational opportunities in our digital world. What’s more, as proposed by the Chairman, this fund will build exponentially faster networks by prioritizing higher performance connectivity amongst competing bids. We thank the Chairman for this initiative to bridge the digital divide and encourage the Commission to adopt his draft at its meeting later in January.”

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