The FCC is ready to authorize a total of nearly $164 million to 42 providers in the second round of funding for new broadband deployments through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The Commission also continues to work to refocus the program to ensure that funding goes to unserved areas that need broadband.
In this funding wave, broadband providers will bring fiber-to-the-home gigabit broadband to approximately 65,000 locations in 21 states over the next 10 years. The Commission continues to closely review long-form applications of other winning bidders that were previously announced to ensure they meet the technical, financial, and operational capabilities to comply with program obligations.
In July, the Commission sent letters to 197 winning bidders offering providers an opportunity to withdraw their funding requests from places where there was evidence of service or where questions of waste have been raised. In response, many winning bidders have conducted new due diligence on the areas in question. Eighty-five winning bidders decided not to pursue buildout in 5,089 census blocks.
Long-form applicants identified above are required to submit acceptable irrevocable stand-by letter(s) of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letter(s) from their legal counsel for each state where they have winning bids that are ready to be authorized by 6 p.m. Eastern on October 22. Find instructions here.