Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Some RDOF Winners’ Qualifications Questioned

 UPDATE The recent Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction was structured differently than traditional FCC spectrum auctions. “Bidders” in the reverse auction were awarded funds based on different criteria, such as latency, speed and how fast they believe a company can bring broadband to a rural area.

But now, some observers question whether some of the largest winners, like Charter and Starry Internet, can actually complete the task as originally stated in their FCC applications, reports Telecompetitor. It quotes MuniNetworks observer Christopher Mitchell as stating in a blog: “The auction resulted in far more gigabit - 85% of locations I believe - than anyone expected, at far lower subsidy than expected. However, there is a lot of frustration and confusion because it is not clear that some of the top bidders can deliver.” MuniNetworks is an advocacy group that provides resources for those who want to build municipal broadband networks. 

Inside Towers reported that Charter Communications, listed as CCO Holdings, won the most locations, just over 1.05 million. Other big bidders include Windstream, which was awarded $522.9 million for 192,567 locations in 18 states; Frontier, which won $370.9 million for 127,188 locations in eight states and CenturyLink, which won $262.3 million for 77,257 locations in 20 states, according to the Commission. Continue Reading

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