Phase I of the Mobility Fund provides up to $300 million in one-time support to immediately accelerate deployment of networks for mobile voice and broadband services in unserved areas. Mobility Fund Phase I support will be awarded through a nationwide reverse auction, which is scheduled for September 27, 2012, and is designated Auction 901. Eligible areas will include census blocks unserved today by mobile broadband services, and carriers may not receive support for areas they have previously stated they plan to cover. The auction will maximize coverage of unserved road miles within the budget. Winners are required to deploy 4G service within three years or 3G service within two years, to accelerate the migration to 4G.
On May 2, 2012, Public Notice DA 12-641 was released outlining eligibility for and procedures before, during, and after Auction 901. On June 15, 2012, supplemental instructions and other information were provided in Public Notice DA 12-947.
A separate and complementary one-time Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I has been established to award up to $50 million in additional universal service funding to Tribal lands to accelerate mobile voice and broadband availability in these remote and underserved areas. The metric for the Tribal fund will be subscriber-based instead of road mileage-based.