ISP Inland Cellular Seeking Commnet's RDOF Obligation

FCC seeks comment on transfer of Commnet's RDOF award.

ISP Inland Cellular Seeking Commnet's RDOF Obligation
Photo of Glacier National Park, Montana

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2024 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau is seeking public input on an application submitted by Commnet Wireless and Inland Cellular. 

The companies have requested approval for Inland Cellular to take over Commnet’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund support obligations for specific census blocks in Washington that include 1,391 locations and in Montana that include 896 locations. 

Inland Cellular intends to assume responsibility for deploying broadband services in the areas,  initially allocated to Commnet by the  FCC in the 2020 RDOF reverse auction.

Comments are due July 17, 2024 and reply comment on July 24, 2024

With approval to transfer the RDOF locations, Commnet hopes to avoid financial penalties triggered by relinquishing the locations back to the FCC.

Despite Commnet being authorized to receive significant annual RDOF funding for these areas, Commnet has not yet provided any RDOF-funded services or established local subscribers.

Commnet intends to transfer its RDOF obligations and unspent funds for certain census blocks in Washington and Montana to Inland Cellular. 

Inland will assume Commnet’s obligations and use the remaining RDOF funds to deploy broadband services, according to the application. The transaction depends on obtaining all necessary approvals, and Inland will provide the required financial assurances. The transfer will not affect customer services or charges and will be seamless for customers.

Delaware-based company Commnet Wireless won in the RDOF auction more than $777,000 per year over ten years to serve 5,639 Washington State homes and businesses.

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