Starry, Nextlink, Resound still waiting on $1 Billion in Rural Development Opportunity Fund Support

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More than a year and a half after the close of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, fixed wireless providers Starry, Nextlink and Resound Networks are still waiting for their winning bids to be authorized. The companies have expressed confidence their subsidy money will come through. Starry, Nextlink and Resound were among the top 10 winners in the RDOF auction, collectively winning just over $1 billion. That means they account for about half of the $2 billion in remaining bids the FCC has left to process. Starry, Resound and Nextlink's CEOs believe the FCC is in the final stages of reviewing their long-form applications, and are hopeful they will ultimately be approved. For gigabit tier fixed and wireless broadband, bidding companies are subject to a different level of scrutiny than baseline 100/20 Mbps broadband connectivity. That could especially be true after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced rules for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program which specified areas served by broadband connections reliant on unlicensed spectrum would be deemed unserved. It remains to be seen whether the NTIA’s stance will influence the FCC’s decision. The FCC expects to conclude its review of pending RDOF applications “soon.”

Starry, Nextlink, Resound still waiting on $1B in RDOF support