The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will fund new broadband rollouts across the country through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The FCC has announced its readiness to give the green light to more than $311 million in funding for the provision of broadband in 36 states.
A total of 48 providers have been authorized for funding, and the FCC has noted that this financing will help nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in 36 states get access to gigabit speeds over the next ten years. Companies on that list include 3E8 Broadband Solutions, 4-County Fiber LLC, Aeneas Communications, Allen’s TV Cable Service Inc., Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications and more.
Additionally, the FCC has issued a statement about its steps to increase oversight in the RDOF program. The Commission has stated that it will not approve of any service provider participating in the program that does not take offering broadband services seriously or has not made reasonable efforts to secure regulatory approvals from its state. Up to this day, the FCC has rejected applications to waive program terms due to the broadband supplier’s failure to obtain a state certificate in a timely manner from AB Indiana in Florida and LTD Broadband in California, Oklahoma and Kansas.
FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said: “This is a significant down payment on broadband deployment. Today’s announcement means that help is on the way for hundreds of thousands of Americans without access to broadband. This program can do great things, but it requires thoughtful oversight. That’s why we are refocusing the program on unserved areas and putting winning bidders on notice of their obligation to ensure that support goes to the areas that need it. And for those applicants who are dragging their feet or can’t meet their obligations, follow the rules or we will disqualify you and move on.”
The FCC has thus far approved $311 in funding, which is only a fraction of $9.2 billion allotted in the Phase I auction.