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

GigFire, Formerly LTD Broadband, Makes Illinois Acquisition

Fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) provider GigFire has acquired Rural Comm, a service provider headquartered in Farina (IL). GigFire, which now operates in ten Midwestern states, was known as LTD Broadband until earlier in 2023.

Power Cooperative Provides New Internet Opportunities for Members

In 2022, Jeff Churchwell made history. As the general manager of Winnsboro-based Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative (NELPCO), Churchwell led the initiative to become the first Louisiana electric cooperative to provide broadband for its members. NELPCO serves seven parishes in northeast Louisiana: Franklin, Madison, Richland, Tensas, East Carroll, West Carroll and Morehouse. With Campbell on board, construction for Volt Broadband began by June. As of April 2023, Volt Broadband has 930 active customers and installs eight to 10 new customers every day.
 

$20.4 Million Fiber-Broadband Project to Benefit 8,200 in Lumpkin County

Some 8,200 homes, businesses and schools in unserved and underserved parts of Lumpkin County (GA) will, for the first time, be eligible for high-speed fiber internet. The $20.4 million project, to provide fiber broadband to Dahlonega and throughout the county, is expected to be completed in 2024. It is a result of a public–private partnership between the county and Kinetic. The county will use about $6.9 million in state grant money from the federal government.

Spectrum Launches Gigabit Broadband, Mobile, TV and Voice Services in Newberry County, South Carolina

Spectrum announced the launch of Spectrum Internet, Mobile, TV and Voice services to more than 300 homes and small businesses in Newberry County, South Carolina. Spectrum’s newly constructed fiber-optic network buildout in Newberry County is part of the company’s approximately $5 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF)-related investment in unserved rural communities, which includes $1 billion won in the Federal Communications Commission’s RDOF auction.

Senators Suggest FCC Explore Supplemental Funding for RDOF Winners

Since Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) concluded, it has become more expensive to deploy broadband due to rampant increases in construction materials, equipment, and labor costs. Given the challenges, RDOF winners—especially smaller providers—are facing, we appreciate your review of the following options:

The Remaining RDOF Funds

The Federal Communications Commission originally budgeted $20.4 billion dollars for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) subsidy program to be spent over ten years. The original RDOF reverse auction offered $16 billion in subsidies. But in a story that is now well known, some entities bid RDOF markets down to ridiculously low subsidy levels, and only $9.4 billion was claimed in the auction. $2.8 billion of this funding ended up in default, including some of the bidders who had driven the prices so low. That means that only $6.4 billion of the original $20.4 billion has been allocated.

RDOF areas are already 30% Served by broadband. That's a good thing.

At the time the Federal Communications Commission Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program winners were announced, $9.23 billion was committed over 10-years to cover over 5 million Unserved locations.

Google Fiber won't 'directly' participate in government funding programs

The bulk of Google Fiber's buildouts is focused on cities and towns that are getting broadband service from incumbent cable operators and telephone companies.

Federal Broadband Funding Report: These Agencies Are Funding Internet for All

On May 8, 2023, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth released its second annual report

FCC Announces the Start Date for Performance Measures Testing for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund, and the Connect USVI Fund

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announces January 1, 2024 as the start date for the requirement to begin one year of pre-testing and reporting of speed and latency results for the Bringing Together Puerto Rico Fund Stage and the Connect USVI Fund Stage 2. Testing will begin on January 1, 2025. For the carriers participating in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), pre-testing will begin on January 1, 2025, and testing will begin on January 1, 2026.