Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Created in 2020 as the successor to Connect America Fund providing up to $20.4 billion over 10 years to connect rural homes and small businesses to broadband networks

Connect2First claims 40 to 60 percent take rates for Arkansas fiber build

Connect2First has constructed 4,371 miles of fiber network across 18 Arkansas counties, and the internet service provider still has over 600 miles to go. Sales and Marketing Director Candace Looper said the company is seeing take rates between 40 and 60 percent in areas where service is already available. Connect2First is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Electric cooperative that provides fiber-to-the-home internet and home phone service to the coop’s members.

FCC Provides Guidance to High-Cost Support Recipients Regarding Engagement with States and Tribal Governments

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau provided guidance to Enhanced Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Enhanced A-CAM), Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction, Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund, and Connect USVI Fund support recipients (collectively, high-cost support recipients or service providers) regarding their coordination with state broadband offices and Tribal entities to determine the eligibility of locations for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD Program), and to avoid duplicati

New FCC Broadband Map, version 3

The Federal Communications Commission's new version of the National Broadband Map includes a dramatic decrease in the number of Unserved and Underserved locations. We now have 7.1 million unserved locations and 3.0 million underserved location. The total of 10.1 million locations is a decrease of 16% from the 11.9 million locations that were unserved and underserved six months earlier. As Chairwoman Rosenworcel said in a blog post, I’m sure we’re seeing some of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund projects start to light up.

Minnesota regulators suspend crucial designation for controversial LTD Broadband

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to suspend a crucial certification for LTD Broadband, dealing a blow to the company and its hopes of unblocking $311 million in federal cash to build infrastructure for high-speed internet across rural Minnesota. In December 2020, LTD won more than $1.32 billion nationally through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to develop blazing-fast internet in rural areas, including more than $311 million in Minnesota. The outcome shocked many in the telecommunications industry because LTD was relatively small and had little exp

The Seven Broadband Gaps

Where are we in terms of closing the seven gaps that we think of, or should think of, as the elements of the digital divide? The seven gaps are the rural access gap, the affordability gap, the operating gap of very high-cost rural providers, the adoption gap, the institutional gap, the cable/copper gap, and the utilization gap. We could be using the network to improve outcomes in education, health care, government services, public safety, carbon reduction, civic engagement, and other public purposes. But to do achieve those goals, we need to close all seven broadband gaps.

‘We’re Cut Off’: Rural Farmers Are Desperate For Broadband Internet

How can the Farm Bill help close the digital divide in rural America? There are a few areas that we could start with, and Sascha Meinrath, the Palmer Chair in telecommunications at Penn State University, says the first one won’t cost the government a dime. “The Farm Bill could include a mandate that says anytime a provider reports to a federal agency that they provide service at an address, they must provide that service within 30 days or get fined $10,000 a day until they do,” says Meinrath. In other words, force the ISPs to show verification that they are doing what they claim.

Charter Communications Announces $1.25 Billion Investment in Ohio

Charter Communications announced a nearly $1.25 billion investment in Ohio through its companywide network evolution project and broadband expansion commitments. The investment will enable the delivery of symmetrical gigabit and multi-gigabit speeds across the state, rural broadband expansion programs in Ohio and other customer-benefiting projects. Charter is investing nearly $500 million in a network evolution project in Ohio; the project is expected to be substantially complete across the company’s Ohio service area by the end of 2025. Charter is also expanding its fiber-optic network to

NTCA Launches “Broadband Built to Last" Ad Campaign to Promote Importance of Sustainable Universal Service Fund

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association launched its new “Broadband Built to Last” ad campaign, which aims to educate policymakers and the public on the critical role the Universal Service Fund plays in getting and keeping rural consumers connected to high quality, affordable broadband service. 

GeoLinks Touts Gig+ Fixed Wireless Access Speeds: Using Broad 28 GHz Holdings Comes Next

GeoLinks has a lot going on with fixed wireless access (FWA), Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) deployments, gig+ speed offers, and spectrum bands. The company has more licenses in the 28 GHz band than any other license holder and "that will give us the opportunity to look into other states in the future,” said COO Ryan Adams. Investments from Rock Mountain Capital and JLC Infrastructure make GeoLinks' expansion plans possible and help GeoLinks build upon their signi

It’s Time to Kick the Tires on Those Enforceable Broadband Deployment Commitments

The goal of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) $40+ billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program is to ensure that everyone in the United States has access to reliable, high-speed, and affordable broadband. Part of the challenge is how to treat areas where funding already has been awarded for broadband deployment. Will all awardees perform as expected?