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

Chairman Pai's Response to Senator Wicker Regarding Broadband Deployment in Unserved Rural Communities Through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

On June 2, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai about the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

FCC helps Charter avoid broadband competition

The Federal Communications Commission is helping Charter avoid broadband competition in New York State with a decision that will block government funding for other broadband providers in locations where Charter is required to build. The FCC plans to award providers up to $16 billion over 10 years from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) in a reverse auction scheduled to begin in October.

Does the Federal Broadband Definition Reflect Real-World Need?

Does the federal definition of broadband reflect what Americans need today? The current definition, 25 Mbps download speed/3 Mbps upload speed, was set by the Federal Communications Commission, led by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in 2015.

Recap of FCC Oversight Hearing

All five Federal Communications Commissioners testified at a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing. Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) said the hearing was an opportunity for Commissioners to discuss what more can be done to expand broadband access and digital opportunity for all Americans.

Senators Introduce Bill to Accelerate Deployment of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Broadband Networks

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Accelerating Broadband Connectivity (ABC) Act of 2020. This legislation would expedite the deployment of broadband service by creating a fund to be used by the Federal Communications Commission to incentivize winning bidders of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction to complete their buildout obligations on a shorter timeline. The Accelerating Broadband Connectivity Act would:

Broadband Connectivity During the Age of COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis laid bare critical shortcomings in our approach to universal service.  As good as our networks are, broadband accessibility is an issue for some American households. We believe bold action is needed – it is time for Congress to modernize and reform USF (Universal Service Fund) programs and establish a secure funding source for broadband connectivity for all Americans.

Removing Unnecessary Barriers and Maximizing Competition in USF Auctions

In striving to bring broadband access to all unserved Americans within existing funding constraints, the FCC must stretch scarce Universal Service Fund (USF) dollars as far as possible.

Get in Line for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction

This week, the Federal Communications Commission established procedures for the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction (Auction 904, if you're scoring at home).

Working to make the buildout of rural broadband a reality

As Virginians have been adapting to a new way of life during the coronavirus outbreak, high-speed internet access has become a necessity, now more than ever. The coronavirus emergency has only exacerbated the burden of internet insecurity and the consequences of inadequate access for rural Americans. That is why, in April, I wrote a letter to House and Senate leadership advocating for the inclusion of rural connectivity capabilities in future coronavirus stimulus packages, including key legislation that I have put forward in Congress. In March, I introduced the Serving Rural America Act.

Chairman Pai caves to SpaceX but is still skeptical of Elon Musk’s latency claims

The Federal Communications Commission has reversed course on whether to let SpaceX and other satellite providers apply for rural-broadband funding as low-latency providers. But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said companies like SpaceX will have to prove they can offer low latencies, as the FCC does not plan to "fund untested technologies."  Chairman Pai's original proposal classified SpaceX and all other satellite operators as high-latency providers for purposes of the funding distribution, saying the companies haven't proven they can deliver latencies below the FCC standard of 100ms.