Final Bidder List Sets Stage for Oct. 29 RDOF Reverse Auction
The FCC today released a Public Notice (PDF) announcing 386 applicants approved to participate in a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction. Phase I of the more than $20 billion support program will distribute approximately $16 billion through the auction, which begins Oct. 29.
Among those appearing on the final list of qualified bidders (PDF) is the “NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium.” More than 50 NRTC members have worked throughout the summer with NRTC staff to prepare for the reverse auction. The goal is to establish high-quality broadband service in some of the most remote portions of the United States.
“With today’s announcement, we are taking one of the last steps before ringing the opening bell for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, our biggest and boldest step yet to bridge the digital divide for over 10 million unserved consumers across rural America,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a press release (PDF).
Pai alluded to the “unprecedented interest” the RDOF auction has attracted. A total of 505 entities originally filed “short-form” applications to enter the reverse auction. By appearing on the final qualified bidder list, the FCC confirmed that the applicants are “financially and operationally qualified to participate in the auction.”
NRTC and other RDOF participants are under an official “quiet period” through the auction and for several weeks after the auction ends. We will provide more details about the consortium late this year or in early 2021.