Nearly 400 Qualify for FCC’s Rural Broadband Auction
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) last week unveiled a list of 386 applicants, including several UTC members, that are qualified to bid in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction.
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.
Among the qualified UTC members are utilities such as Bandera Electric Cooperative, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, and a group of utilities who bid in as part of several consortia. In addition, associate member Tilson qualified for the bidding as well.
According to the Commission, the number of qualified bidders represents a more than 75% increase in the number of bidders in the FCC’s 2018 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.
Last week the FCC released the state-by-state list of areas eligible for bidding in the Phase I auction, which will prioritize bids for the deployment of broadband networks providing higher speeds up to 1 Gbps and lower latency. Once the auction concludes, the Commission will release the auction results, including identifying which bidders won support and which areas were awarded.
Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with questions.