The US Federal Communications Commission's Mobility Fund, which has set aside $300 million to expand wireless broadband coverage in mostly rural "dead zones," just released the rules and procedures for its auction this fall. Starting June 27th, mobile service providers nationwide can put in applications to bid for FCC support to install a 3G or 4G network in one of the places indicated in black on this map. On September 27th, the actual auction will begin, and contracts will be awarded to the lowest bidder in each area.

Winners of the bids will be required to either deploy a 3G network within two years or a 4G network within three years of receiving the money. That network will need to work for 75 percent of the road miles in every census district a winning company bid on. Once this first building phase of the project is completed, the FCC will provide a total of $500 million in support every year in order to help support the networks. The Mobility Fund is part of a larger FCC project to expand broadband and phone service to low-income or rural Americans.