RDOF Phase I Winners Announced

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The FCC has formally announced the close of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I Auction (Auction 904), which ended just before Thanksgiving. There were 180 winning bidders who won $9.23 billion worth of the total available $16 billion of RDOF Phase I support to bring 25/3 Mbps or better broadband and telephone service to over 5.2 million locations in 49 states (and the Northern Mariana Islands). Auction 904 initially drew 505 applicants, 386 of which were deemed qualified. According to the public notice, 99.7% of locations are slated to be covered with 100 Mbps broadband and over 85% of locations with Gigabit broadband. The public notice also spells out a series of long-form application deadlines starting this month and stretching in to June 2021. Charter emerged as the biggest funding winner with approximately $1.2 billion of support for over 500,000 locations, and SpaceX was second winning $900 million for approximately 600,000 locations. The approximately $6.8 billion of RDOF Phase I support that went unclaimed in Auction 904 will be rolled over into a future RDOF Phase II auction, more than doubling the Phase II budget from $4.4 billion to $11.2 billion.

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