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 Reps Pallone, Walden, Doyle, and Latta Regarding Mobility Fund Phase II

On Dec 19, 2019, House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to raise concerns about the unreliable data collected for the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF II) coverage maps, and therefore concerns about the announcement that MF II will be replaced with a new 5G Fund.

A First for Digital Equity and Broadband Adoption

The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled Empowering and Connecting Communities Through Digital Equity and Internet Adoption.

Last-Minute Change to FCC Rural Broadband Fund May Ban Grants for Millions of Unconnected Americans

In his dissenting statement, Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks objected to a sentence included since the initial draft of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Order. The Starks dissent states: “The version of the Order now before us excludes from RDOF any area that the Commission ‘know[s] to be awarded funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program or other similar federal or state broadband subsidy programs, or those subject to enforceable broadband deployment obligations.’” (emphasis in original)

Commissioner Rosenworcel Statement on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

While the spirit of this effort is right on—we have a broadband problem—the way we go about addressing it is not right. 

FCC Launches $20 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The Federal Communications Commission took its single biggest step to date to close the digital divide by establishing the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to efficiently fund the deployment of high-speed broadband networks in rural America. Through a two phase reverse auction mechanism, the FCC will direct up to $20.4 billion over ten years to finance up to gigabit speed broadband networks in unserved rural areas, connecting millions more American homes and businesses to digital opportunity.

Behind New York’s attempt to double-dip on broadband subsidies

The Federal Communications Commission faced criticism from Capitol Hill when a bipartisan letter from the New York delegation complained that the state has been unfairly excluded from participating in the agency’s new $20 billion broadband initiative. Sens.

The FCC Should Only Fund Scalable, Future-Proof Broadband Networks

This week the Federal Communications Commission is expected to create the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. As proposed, the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will make available $20.4 billion to subsidize deployment of high-speed internet networks to rural areas that don’t have adequate service now.

CenturyLink scored billions in CAF II funds, eyes the next giveaway: RDOF

CenturyLink has benefited the most from the Connect America Fund (CAF) II, a Federal Communications Commission program that has awarded Universal Service Funds to telecommunication operators to build broadband in unserved and underserved areas of the US, especially rural areas. CenturyLink has received $506 million per year since 2015 in CAF II awards, which will total more than $3 billion over the six-year period from 2015 to 2020. Now, the FCC has proposed a follow-on program to CAF.

FCC Chairman Pai visits Marietta, Ohio and touts broadband fund

Rep Bill Johnson (R-OH), Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, and local dignitaries met to discuss the importance of broadband access for Southeastern Ohio’s rural communities. In Marietta (OH), Chairman Pai outlined the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) at the roundtable. He said the RDOF would be divided into two phases. Phase 1 will cost $16 billion and will target areas with no broadband access. He said part of phase 2 will be data collection. “We’ll collect information from providers as a map may show an area has service, but they don’t in reality,” he explained.

Terrific Digital Opportunities Ahead…But Some Tweaks Are Needed To Prevent Storm Clouds In The Future

Here are just a few pieces that we think are worthy of further consideration and some modification before the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) order becomes final.