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

Is the $20 Billion RDOF Budget Big Enough? Expert Panel Says Yes, Though Some May Disagree

Is the $20 billion budget allocated by the Federal Communications Commission for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) enough to meet rural broadband deployment goals?

FCC Commissioner Starks Remarks at NTCA Legislative and Policy Conference

This pandemic may define our generation, and the changes in our daily lives required by social distancing have highlighted the importance of broadband and the consequences of internet inequality. I’d like to discuss four points that I think are necessary to address the digital divide in rural America. First, the Federal Communications Commission must fund rural broadband with fixed maps. Second, to address rural connectivity we must incentivize providers to bring future-proof broadband to our communities. Third, we must hold auction winners accountable.

America’s Broadband Moment

The debate on whether broadband is a luxury or an essential connection to society is over. More than twice as many people are now using residential broadband during business hours as before the COVID-19 crisis. Over 55 million students have been impacted by school closures. The use of telehealth has skyrocketed. This, I believe, is our broadband moment: a hinge of history that will determine whether today’s residential broadband is fit for the changed world in which we inhabit or whether its limits work to disadvantage those that are not equipped to use it.


Federal Communications Commission

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 21:00 to 22:30

This free webinar will provide an overview of the adopted policy framework for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction (Auction 904), the proposed procedures for applications and bidding in the auction, and tips for service providers that are interested in applying to participate in the auction. Additionally, the webinar will focus on opportunities for small businesses to participate and win funding in Auction 904.

Charter still hates broadband competition, asks FCC to help prevent it

Charter Communications is asking the Federal Communications Commission to block government funding for Internet service providers that want to build networks in parts of New York where Charter is required to offer broadband. An FCC rule for Phase 1 of the commission's $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) bans funding in census blocks where at least one ISP has been awarded money from any federal or state broadband-subsidy program "to provide 25/3Mbps or better service," and it also bans funding in areas that already have home-Internet access at those speeds.

FCC Seeks Comment on Charter Rural Digital Opportunity Eligible Areas Waiver

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau -- in coordination with the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force and the Office of Economics and Analytics -- seeks comment on a petition filed by Charter Communications requesting waiver of the FCC’s census block eligibility criteria for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction in order to exclude from eligibility census blocks in New York in which Charter will deploy broadband service to satisfy its commitments to the state.

WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 19-126

Illinois Office of Broadband Seeks Reconsideration of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Order

The Illinois Office of Broadband filed a petition for reconsideration of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) order, asking the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider its decision to forego federal-state partnership on broadband deployment, asserting a partnership would help coordinate state and federal broadband investment to maximize efficiency and minimize duplication. Illinois also asked the FCC to reconsider its decision to continue to treat broadband offering 25/3 Mbps service as a viable minimum, and make 50/5 Mbps the threshold for support in the RDOF auction.

Why is Microsoft Advocating for Gigabit Fixed Wireless? Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Comments Reveal Interest

Could Microsoft be planning gigabit fixed wireless deployments – perhaps through service provider partners participating in the company’s Airband rural broadband program?

CCA statement on the FCC's “Working Toward the 5G Fund for Rural America: Option A Eligibility Analysis”

Unfortunately, the FCC is publishing eligibility maps that bear little relationship to where there is or is not actually coverage. The analysis itself notes that the maps released April 9 may bear little resemblance to the areas actually available for funding in an auction, which is extremely concerning. At a time when everyone is recognizing the importance of bridging the digital divide, the FCC seems intent on moving forward with spending $9 billion without bothering to measure the scope of the problem they are purporting to solve.

Pandemic Changes Pace of Federal Funding for Broadband Deployment

Like most other aspects of life, the ongoing pandemic has disrupted the federal government’s plans to disburse grants, loans, and subsidies for the construction of rural broadband networks. But unlike the sporting events and concerts that can be put on an indefinite hold, these funds are now needed more than ever by the Internet access providers trying to connect rural households during a time when everything has moved online.