The FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiment Program has authorized four experimental projects to provide broadband to approximately 15,000 customers living in rural areas in Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Iowa, and North Dakota.  According to the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, half of all rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/ 3 Mbps service.  A total of $11.2 million dollars was awarded to Skybeam, LLC, Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative, Consolidated Communications Networks, Inc., and Delta Communications LLC to extend broadband services to these areas.  The companies must build-out 85% of their projects within in three years, and complete the build-out in five years.