On March 10, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it had approved more than $640 million for broadband deployments in 26 states that will cover nearly 250,000 locations via the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund provides rural homes and small businesses without access to broadband service with high-speed fixed broadband service through a $20.4 billion program. In 47 states, the program has funded nearly 300 carriers with more than $4.7 billion for new deployments, bringing broadband to almost 2.7 million people.

“Today’s funding will help connect hundreds of thousands of Americans to high-speed, broadband internet service,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release. “As we approve this funding, we remain committed to making sure that this program serves areas that truly need broadband and funds carriers that can do the job.”

Rosenworcel stated that the Commission’s new Rural Broadband Accountability Plan (RBAP) ensures the continued progress of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

The FCC established the RBAP earlier this year as a new initiative to monitor and ensure compliance with universal service high-cost programs, such as the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and Connect America Fund Phase II Auction.