The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 25 announced it is prepared to authorize more than $313 million through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), to fund new broadband deployments in 19 states. The commission says this funding—the eighth round of the RDOF—will bring broadband service to more than 130,000 locations in 19 states.
To date, the FCC pointed out, the RDOF has provided more than $5 billion in funding for new developments in 47 states to bring broadband to more than 2.8 million locations.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel commented, “The funding announced today will help hundreds of thousands of Americans get access to high-speed, reliable broadband service. We continue our expanded oversight of this program through the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan to make sure that applicants deliver services as promised to areas that truly need help.”
The commission emphasized the measures it is taking to ensure accountability through oversight, including the following.
- Sending letters to 197 applicants concerning areas where there was evidence of existing service or questions of waste. Bidders already have chosen not to pursue support in approximately 5000 census blocks in response to the FCC’s letters.
- Conducting technical, financial, and legal review of all winning bidders.
- Denying waivers for winning bidders that have no made appropriate efforts to secure state approvals or prosecute their applications. These bidders would have otherwise received close to $370 million.
At the same time the FCC announced this latest RDOF round, the commission announced it denied a petition from RHMD, LLC for waiver of the deadline to obtain eligible telecommunications carrier status “because the company failed to diligently pursue efforts to obtain the designation.”
The winning bids announced on March 25 cover certain eligible census blocks. This page on the FCC’s website lists the eligible census blocks. Additionally, this page lists RDOF providers and funding amounts.