The 5G Fund for rural America to replace the
Mobility Fund Phase II, December 5, 2019
In the latest show of support for rural America, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the launch
of a $9 billion fund to accelerate the deployment of advanced 5G wireless in rural locations
across the U.S. The new 5G Fund for rural America will replace the previously planned Mobility
Fund Phase II which would have provided federal support for 4G LTE service in unserved areas
but became bogged down in fights over the accuracy of national providers’ coverage maps.
In order to receive funds from the Mobility Fund Phase II, wireless providers were required to
submit 4G LTE coverage data that helped to determine unserved locations, and which areas
were eligible for subsidies from MFII. However, a recently released report showed that the 4G
LTE coverage data submitted by providers is not sufficiently reliable for the purpose of moving
forward with Mobility Fund Phase II. During the challenge process for MFII, many rural
providers protested that coverage maps submitted by the four national carriers overstated
each provider’s actual coverage and did not reflect on-the-ground experience in many instances.