LTD Broadband Denied RDOF Relief as FCC Affirms Review Standards

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The FCC at the Commission level has denied an Application for Review filed last year by LTD Broadband, LLC (LTD) seeking a reversal of the 2022 Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) decision not to authorize any of the $1.3 billion of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) support that LTD had won in Auction 904 to deploy voice and broadband to over 500,000 locations in 15 states. In its Order on Review, the FCC rejected LTD’s arguments and held that (1) the Bureau applied the correct standard of review in denying LTD’s long-form application; (2) the Bureau’s review did not lack standards and guidelines to govern its exercise of discretion; (3) there was no obligation for the Bureau to tailor LTD’s winning bids to areas that LTD could potentially serve; and (4) the Bureau properly denied a series of LTD waiver requests consistent with other similar waivers. In light of this denial, the FCC also dismissed as moot an Opposition and Motion to Hold Proceedings in Abeyance filed by the Ensuring RDOF Integrity Coalition. Though the FCC’s Order on Review marks the final agency-level appeal for LTD, the company’s CEO Corey Hauer has indicated in prior public remarks that a federal lawsuit has not been ruled out.

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