The FCC this week announced that it is ready to authorize nearly $550 million in its third round of funding for new broadband deployments through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Together with two prior funding wave announcements, the FCC has now announced over $1 billion in funding to winning bidders for new deployments. In this funding wave, 11 broadband providers will bring fiber-to-the-home gigabit broadband service to over 180,000 locations in 19 states. Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel says, “Broadband is an essential service and during the pandemic we’ve seen just how critical it is for families, schools, hospitals, and businesses to have affordable internet access.” The FCC also denied several waiver petitions by companies that did not diligently pursue their applications. The 19 states slated for funding are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.