The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is ready to authorize more than $313 million in funding through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund for new broadband deployments in 19 states.
The latest commitment marks the eighth round of funding in the program, which to date has provided over $5 billion in funding for new deployments in 47 states to bring broadband to over 2.8 million locations.
“The funding announced today will help hundreds of thousands of Americans get access to high-speed, reliable broadband service,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We continue our expanded oversight of this program through the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan to make sure that applicants deliver services as promised to areas that truly need help.”
In addition to announcing the latest round of funding, the FCC also stressed its commitment to monitoring and ensuring compliance with the program’s rules through the Rural Broadband Accountability Plan.
Specifically, the FCC said it has:
- Sent letters to 197 applicants concerning areas where there was evidence of existing service or questions of waste. Bidders have already chosen not to pursue support in approximately 5,000 census blocks in response to the commission’s letters.
- Denied waivers for winning bidders that have not made appropriate efforts to secure state approvals or prosecute their applications. These bidders would have otherwise received almost $370 million.
- Conducted an exhaustive technical, financial, and legal review of all winning bidders.
The FCC also noted that it has denied a petition by Florida-based RHMD, LLC for waiver of the deadline to obtain eligible telecommunications carrier status because the company failed to diligently pursue efforts to obtain the designation.