Advanced Television

FCC allows 386 applicants for Rural Fund’s $16bn

October 15, 2020

By Chris Forrester

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that 386 applicants are qualified to bid in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction.  Phase 1 of the auction opens October 29th.

In a Public Notice, the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force, Office of Economics and Analytics, and Wireline Competition Bureau identified the qualified applicants and provided educational materials for participating in the auction.

“The number of qualified bidders represents a more than 75 per cent increase in the number of bidders in 2018’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction and also includes bidding consortia that contain multiple service providers.  Qualified bidders will compete to receive up to $16 billion over ten years to provide broadband to wholly unserved areas, with priority given to bids for higher speeds (up to 1 Gbps) and lower latency,” states the FCC.

While most of those mentioned in the approved list are highly localised services there are plenty of big names, not least Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Frontier Communications and Hughes Network Systems.

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