The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it is ready to authorise USD199.3 million through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to fund new broadband deployments in 26 states and the Northern Mariana Islands, thus bringing service to over 230,000 locations. This payment represents the ninth round of RDOF funding since July 2021, when the FCC announced the first approvals for applicant bids.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the RDOF Phase I auction (Auction 904) commenced on 29 October 2020, having attracted a total of 386 qualified bidders. In the event, the regulator awarded a total of USD9.2 billion in funding to 180 bidders. 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.