The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the Connect America Fund Phase II auction (Auction 903) concluded on 21 August 2018. In total, there were 103 winning bidders, with ten-year support totalling USD1.488 billion and covering 713,176 locations in 45 states. 53% of the locations covered by the auction will receive download transmission speeds of 100Mbps, while 99.7% will receive downlink speeds of at least 25Mbps – more than double the 10Mbps minimum standard set out by the Connect America Fund.
While the list of bidders includes household names such as Verizon Communications, Cincinnati Bell and Viasat, the bulk of the participants are smaller, regional-focused telecoms operators, such as the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative, Mark Twain Communications Company and Farmers Mutual Telephone Company. Winning bidders are required to submit a post-auction application for support no later than 15 October 2018.