Federal Communications Commission Shuts Out Provider for Latest RDOF Funding

The commission says RHMD, LLC ‘failed to diligently pursue efforts to obtain’ a waiver for the eligibility deadline.

Federal Communications Commission Shuts Out Provider for Latest RDOF Funding
Photo of rural Pennsylvania from March 2010 by Nicholas A. Tonelli used with permission

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission announced its latest round of funding for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund on Friday, revealing that it had denied a petition from provider RHMD, LLC for waiver of the deadline to obtain eligible telecommunications carrier status.

The commission said that RHMD “failed to diligently pursue efforts to obtain the designation.”

The latest RDOF funding round, its eighth, authorizes more than $313 million to fund new broadband deployments in 19 states – bringing service to 130,000 locations.

To date, the program has provided more than $5 billion in 47 states to bring broadband to over 2.8 million locations.

The commission emphasized its continued commitment to monitoring and compliance for program rules through programs such as its Rural Broadband Accountability Plan.

It stated that it has sent letters to 197 applicants concerning areas with evidence of existing service or waste. As a result, bidders are said to have abandoned support requests in 5,000 census blocks.

“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,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Bidders denied through the commission’s efforts such as RHMD otherwise would have received $370 million collectively.

All winning bidders undergo “an exhaustive technical, financial, and legal review,” the FCC said.

In January, the FCC implemented new accountability and transparency measures and make public the results of verifications, audits and speed and latency testing for the Fund.

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