The FCC has continued moving through the long-form applications for companies that were preliminary award winners in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Yesterday, it said it's ready to authorize bids for approximately 60 bidders on the "ready-to-authorize" list, but also announced another 13 bids are considered in default.
Among the bids that are considered ready to authorize is a project submitted by CBAN member Reedsburg Utility Commission in Wisconsin. As General Manager Brett Schuppner explained in a 2021 edition of CBAN's Lunch and Learn, Wisconsin's only municipal fiber utility has been expanding to unserved rural areas around Reedsburg, using funding programs such as RDOF to make those projects affordable.
The "ready to authorize" list also includes a number of rural electric cooperatives, independent communications companies as well as bigger companies such as Windstream, which had its bids in Pennsylvania approved. Another large winner benefitting from the FCC's action is Ziply, whose bids in several Pacific Northwest states will advance. That company is the owner of former Fronter properties.
The biggest name on the default bid list is LTD Broadband, who was one of the largest initial winners in the RDOF auction. The company has struggled to convince the FCC (and several states) that it has the resources and capacity to fulfill its obligations. The LTD bids on the most recent default list are in Oklahoma and Kansas.
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Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.