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FCC to Spend $9.3 Billion on 5.2 Million Broadband Locations as Result of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction

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Photo illustration from the Pelican Institute

December 7, 2020 – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced that it had awarded $9.3 billion in broadband funds (PDF) for rural Americans, over 10 years, through the recently-concluded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction.

About 5.2 million locations in rural America will now gain access to high-speed internet service through the first phase of the RDOF reverse auction.

Results showed that Charter Communications, bidding as CCO Holdings, was the biggest RDOF auction winner, when measuring by the number of locations, reports Telecompetitor. The cable company won $1.22 billion in the auction, which was completed early last week, to bring service to over one million locations in 24 states.

Charter was not the biggest winner, when measuring by funding. Using that metric, the biggest winner was LTD Broadband, which won $1.3 billion. That company won funding to bring broadband to 528,000 locations in 15 states.

The federal government was able to obtain broadband service for 5.2 million of the 5.9 million target locations, and is only paying $9.2 billion, or only 57.5 percent of the $16 billion it had targeted spending in this first phase of the auction.

A broad range of providers competed in the Phase I auction, including cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers.

Other auction winners include the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, which won $1.1 billion for 618,000 locations in 22 states; Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which won $885.5 million for 642,000 locations in 35 states; Windstream, which won $522.9 million for 192,567 locations in 18 states; and Frontier, which won $370.9 million for 127,188 locations in eight states.

According to the FCC, 99.7 percent of RDOF auction winners have committed to deploying broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download/20 Mbps upload, and with a full 85 percent deploying gigabit broadband.

The FCC said that results pointed to the success of the weighting system used in the auction, which was designed to favor bids to provide higher-speed service.

Big name companies that qualified to bid in the auction but are not on the RDOF auction winners list include Verizon, ViaSat and Cox.

The total amount of funding awarded was $9.3 billion for 49 states. The auction had been budgeted to award up to $16 billion, which means that the non-awarded balance of $6.7 billion will be allocated toward Phase Two of the RDOF auction.

Former Assistant Editor Jericho Casper graduated from the University of Virginia studying media policy. She grew up in Newport News in an area heavily impacted by the digital divide. She has a passion for universal access and a vendetta against anyone who stands in the way of her getting better broadband. She is now Associate Broadband Researcher at the Institute for Local Self Reliance's Community Broadband Network Initiative.

Rural

Groups Heap Praise on FCC for Corrective Action on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The agency is scrutinizing the winning bids for the $9.2-billion fund, and asking companies to consider withdrawing.

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Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, foreground right, and current Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, background.

December 7, 2020 – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced that it had awarded $9.3 billion in broadband funds (PDF) for rural Americans, over 10 years, through the recently-concluded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction.

About 5.2 million locations in rural America will now gain access to high-speed internet service through the first phase of the RDOF reverse auction.

Results showed that Charter Communications, bidding as CCO Holdings, was the biggest RDOF auction winner, when measuring by the number of locations, reports Telecompetitor. The cable company won $1.22 billion in the auction, which was completed early last week, to bring service to over one million locations in 24 states.

Charter was not the biggest winner, when measuring by funding. Using that metric, the biggest winner was LTD Broadband, which won $1.3 billion. That company won funding to bring broadband to 528,000 locations in 15 states.

The federal government was able to obtain broadband service for 5.2 million of the 5.9 million target locations, and is only paying $9.2 billion, or only 57.5 percent of the $16 billion it had targeted spending in this first phase of the auction.

A broad range of providers competed in the Phase I auction, including cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers.

Other auction winners include the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, which won $1.1 billion for 618,000 locations in 22 states; Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which won $885.5 million for 642,000 locations in 35 states; Windstream, which won $522.9 million for 192,567 locations in 18 states; and Frontier, which won $370.9 million for 127,188 locations in eight states.

According to the FCC, 99.7 percent of RDOF auction winners have committed to deploying broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download/20 Mbps upload, and with a full 85 percent deploying gigabit broadband.

The FCC said that results pointed to the success of the weighting system used in the auction, which was designed to favor bids to provide higher-speed service.

Big name companies that qualified to bid in the auction but are not on the RDOF auction winners list include Verizon, ViaSat and Cox.

The total amount of funding awarded was $9.3 billion for 49 states. The auction had been budgeted to award up to $16 billion, which means that the non-awarded balance of $6.7 billion will be allocated toward Phase Two of the RDOF auction.

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Rural

Two New Broadband Bills, Including One Aimed at Rural America, Introduced in Congress

The bipartisan Hassan-Capito bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects.

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December 7, 2020 – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced that it had awarded $9.3 billion in broadband funds (PDF) for rural Americans, over 10 years, through the recently-concluded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction.

About 5.2 million locations in rural America will now gain access to high-speed internet service through the first phase of the RDOF reverse auction.

Results showed that Charter Communications, bidding as CCO Holdings, was the biggest RDOF auction winner, when measuring by the number of locations, reports Telecompetitor. The cable company won $1.22 billion in the auction, which was completed early last week, to bring service to over one million locations in 24 states.

Charter was not the biggest winner, when measuring by funding. Using that metric, the biggest winner was LTD Broadband, which won $1.3 billion. That company won funding to bring broadband to 528,000 locations in 15 states.

The federal government was able to obtain broadband service for 5.2 million of the 5.9 million target locations, and is only paying $9.2 billion, or only 57.5 percent of the $16 billion it had targeted spending in this first phase of the auction.

A broad range of providers competed in the Phase I auction, including cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers.

Other auction winners include the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, which won $1.1 billion for 618,000 locations in 22 states; Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which won $885.5 million for 642,000 locations in 35 states; Windstream, which won $522.9 million for 192,567 locations in 18 states; and Frontier, which won $370.9 million for 127,188 locations in eight states.

According to the FCC, 99.7 percent of RDOF auction winners have committed to deploying broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download/20 Mbps upload, and with a full 85 percent deploying gigabit broadband.

The FCC said that results pointed to the success of the weighting system used in the auction, which was designed to favor bids to provide higher-speed service.

Big name companies that qualified to bid in the auction but are not on the RDOF auction winners list include Verizon, ViaSat and Cox.

The total amount of funding awarded was $9.3 billion for 49 states. The auction had been budgeted to award up to $16 billion, which means that the non-awarded balance of $6.7 billion will be allocated toward Phase Two of the RDOF auction.

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Rural

In San Juan, Utah, a Snapshot of a School District’s Struggle to Bring Broadband Home

The fight for broadband infrastructure in one Utah community. Is private enterprise the end goal?

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Chris Monson with Wesley Hunt on Abajo Peak tower. Photo courtesy of Monson.

December 7, 2020 – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced that it had awarded $9.3 billion in broadband funds (PDF) for rural Americans, over 10 years, through the recently-concluded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction.

About 5.2 million locations in rural America will now gain access to high-speed internet service through the first phase of the RDOF reverse auction.

Results showed that Charter Communications, bidding as CCO Holdings, was the biggest RDOF auction winner, when measuring by the number of locations, reports Telecompetitor. The cable company won $1.22 billion in the auction, which was completed early last week, to bring service to over one million locations in 24 states.

Charter was not the biggest winner, when measuring by funding. Using that metric, the biggest winner was LTD Broadband, which won $1.3 billion. That company won funding to bring broadband to 528,000 locations in 15 states.

The federal government was able to obtain broadband service for 5.2 million of the 5.9 million target locations, and is only paying $9.2 billion, or only 57.5 percent of the $16 billion it had targeted spending in this first phase of the auction.

A broad range of providers competed in the Phase I auction, including cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers.

Other auction winners include the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, which won $1.1 billion for 618,000 locations in 22 states; Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which won $885.5 million for 642,000 locations in 35 states; Windstream, which won $522.9 million for 192,567 locations in 18 states; and Frontier, which won $370.9 million for 127,188 locations in eight states.

According to the FCC, 99.7 percent of RDOF auction winners have committed to deploying broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download/20 Mbps upload, and with a full 85 percent deploying gigabit broadband.

The FCC said that results pointed to the success of the weighting system used in the auction, which was designed to favor bids to provide higher-speed service.

Big name companies that qualified to bid in the auction but are not on the RDOF auction winners list include Verizon, ViaSat and Cox.

The total amount of funding awarded was $9.3 billion for 49 states. The auction had been budgeted to award up to $16 billion, which means that the non-awarded balance of $6.7 billion will be allocated toward Phase Two of the RDOF auction.

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