WASHINGTON -- Two local wireless communication companies have purchased the rights to establish 3G or 4G mobile service in parts of Southwest Nebraska.
Pinpoint Wireless Inc. of Cambridge won the "Mobility Fund" auction to provide the service over 61.39 road miles for $270,177.39 in Furnas County, and 71.52 road miles in Red Willow County for $314,759.52.
Nebraska Colorado Cellular Inc., doing business as Viaero, won auctions in Chase County for $201,882.45 for 74.91 miles, $396,461.45 for 147.11 miles in Dundy County, $85,674.05 for 31.79 miles in Frontier County and $434,407.05 for 161.19 miles in Hayes County, as well as rights to serve 21 other Nebraska counties.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the market-based policy innovation was part of the commission's once-in-a-generation reform of the Universal Service Program last year, which allocated $300 million in savings from cutting waste and inefficiency, to a new Mobility Fund aimed at closing gaps in mobile coverage across the United States. The effort marks the first time in history that the FCC has made universal mobile service an express universal service goal.
As a result of the auction, new mobile infrastructure deployment will begin immediately in areas of Nebraska that currently lack access to 3G or 4G mobile service. In total, 8,255 new road miles on which Nebraska residents live, work, or travel will gain access to advanced mobile networks that significantly enhance opportunities for jobs, education, healthcare and public safety. As part of the auction rules, winning companies must complete projects within three years. In addition, they must also make their networks available to other providers for roaming so that as many consumers as possible can benefit from the new networks.