The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that it has awarded a total of USD9.2 billion in funding to 180 bidders via its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction. A total of 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses – around 99% of the locations included in the auction – will gain access to high speed internet services as a result. This includes rural Americans in 49 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The USD6.8 billion in potential Phase I support that was not allocated will be rolled over into the future Phase II auction, which can now draw upon a budget of up to USD11.2 billion. This funding will be used to target partially-served areas.
With 1.058 million locations assigned, CCO Holdings (Charter Communications) will deploy connectivity to the largest number of locations. The other successful bidders include cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies and fixed-wireless providers.