FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the creation of the Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to promote rural broadband deployment in April 2019. The first phase of the RDOF — a nationwide reverse auction administered by the FCC — is anticipated to conclude in late 2020.
In October 2020, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing eligible bidders for the RDOF auction. The Public Notice includes a list of all qualified bidders for at least one of the states for which they applied, and a list of all ineligible applicants. The notice also reminds applicants and bidders of the prohibition against discussing bids and bidding strategies with other applicants and participants in the auction.
Beginning in 2021, the program will ultimately distribute up to $20.4 billion (over 10 years) to connect millions of unserved rural locations to broadband. USTelecom members are uniquely positioned to compete for these essential (but finite) government funds to continue connecting rural America to the power and promise of broadband.