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NRTC Continues RDOF Auction Preparations

Randy Sukow / May 12, 2020

Steve Pastorkovich, senior director of Broadband Funding and Development, showed the flag for NRTC earlier today during an ask-the-experts webinar hosted by the Colorado Broadband Office. A panel provided an online audience with details about the coming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction rules. The FCC currently plans to begin the $16 billion phase I portion of the auction on Oct. 22, although some on Capitol Hill are discussing possibly moving up the auction date or finding other ways to get RDOF funds into the hands of rural broadband providers as soon as possible.

Pastorkovich, during the session, covered the many procedures rural providers can expect once the auction is over in late 2020 or early 2021. Among many requirements , those participants that submit winning low bids for support to build broadband in unserved census blocks will fill out a highly detailed “long-form” document, win “eligible telecommunications carrier” status from their state governments and begin making plans to meet FCC construction deadlines.

“An optional obligation is 20 percent of locations reached by the end of year two,” he said. “All winning bidders are required to hit 40 percent of locations by the end of year three and then an additional 20 percent each year until you get to 100 percent by year six.”

NRTC will soon closing the window for members to join its RDOF Bidding Consortium as the deadline for applications to participate the reverse auction nears. NRTC is providing guidance and advise for members to navigate the rules for before, during and after the auction. For more information, write to rdof@nrtc.coop.
 


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