Partial CAF-II & RDOF Waiver Granted for LOCs from Non-Compliant Bank

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) and Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force (Bureaus), have granted Point Broadband a partial waiver of the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF-II) and Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) letter of credit (LOC) rules. In particular, Point requested a waiver of the rule requiring CAF-II and/or RDOF awardees to obtain their LOCs from banks maintaining a Weiss bank safety rating of B- or better. Point had initially obtained LOCs from Ally Bank that at the time complied with this rule, but whose Weiss bank safety rating had since fallen to a C+. Point argued that Ally Bank nevertheless demonstrated sufficient financial stability to ensure reliability of Point’s LOCs and that having to obtain new LOCs would disrupt Point’s funding and impair its ability to deploy service. Though the Bureaus did not grant a permanent waiver of the FCC’s LOC rule, the partial grant will allow Point to maintain LOCs with its current bank until June 15, 2023.

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