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Recognizing the importance of Internet connectivity in today’s digital world, on Wednesday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $300 million investment to increase access to high-speed broadband across rural America. The money, which is part of the Connect America Fund (CAF), aims to expand access to high-speed Internet to up to 400,000 previously unserved homes and businesses in rural America.

CAF was created in October 2011 with the goal of connecting all Americans to high- speed Internet by the end of the decade. According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the new program will "continue our work to unleash the benefits of broadband for all Americans, regardless of where they live, and consistent with fiscal responsibility."

The $300 million expenditure comes from savings from the Universal Service Fund (USF), created to expand telephone service to underserved areas.

Should providers agree to participate, they will be required to abide by aggressive build-out requirements as a condition of accepting CAF dollars. The overall goal is to ensure that all Americans, regardless of location, have access to high-speed broadband, enabling them to compete in global marketplace, just like millions of Americans already do today. 

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