SVB Collapse Prompts LOC Waiver Relief for RDOF Awardee


East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber) has been granted a six-month waiver of the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) rules by the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) to obtain new letters of credit (LOCs). The relief comes after the banking that issued ECFiber’s original LOCs—Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)—collapsed and closed earlier this year due to financial failure. ECFiber quickly obtained new LOCs from its local bank, but later learned that the bank’s C+ Weiss bank safety rating fell short of the B- requirement. The Bureau found good cause to grant the requested waiver under these circumstances given SVB’s “unforeseen and sudden failure” as well as ECFiber’s “substantial deployment” to over 40% of its RDOF locations. The Bureau found also that the FCC is unlikely to need to draw on ECFiber’s LOCs in the near future.

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